CAMPAIGNERS have lost their battle to stop retirement flats being built along Southsea seafront.
McCarthy & Stone has been given the green light by the UK planning inspectorate to redevelop the site of the former Savoy buildings.
Portsmouth City Council had rejected the plans to build flats with a ground floor Co-op store – but the developer appealed and has won its case.
And campaigners have voiced their disapproval, saying there needs to be a drastic overhaul of the planning system.
Lib Dem ward councillor Matthew Winnington said: ‘It’s really disappointing that once again, the remote, un-elected planning inspectorate overturned a decision made by a democratically elected committee.’
Nick Courtney, of The People’s Plan for Southsea, was furious by the outcome.
It’s really disappointing that once again, the remote, unelected planning inspectorate overturned a decision made by a democratically elected committee.Lib Dem councillor Matthew Winnington
‘It’s predictable, but also pretty disgusting,’ he said.
‘It’s atrocious. There were massive concerns about this. It’s prime tourist land, it’s totally inappropriate to have a supermarket opposite a newly refurbished Victorian pier. It would be better suited for a beach in Marbella.’
In his report, planning inspector Mr Pope said the proposals would be ‘well designed’ and ‘respectful’ of the area’s character, and the development would ‘repair the urban grain and secure the removal of a detracting element in the street scene of Clarendon Road.’
The decision means the deal to transfer ownership of the land from ex-Pompey boss Harry Redknapp to McCarthy & Stone is complete.