Residents hit back over plans for more student housing in Portsmouth 

A new student block planned for the car park of the Groundlings Theatre in Portsea'Picture: PLC Architects
A new student block planned for the car park of the Groundlings Theatre in Portsea'Picture: PLC Architects

'ENOUGH is enough,' residents have said after plans for more student accommodation in Portsmouth were revealed.

Frustrated campaigners are meeting on Thursday to rally against a potential new four-storey student block made up of 38 apartments in Kent Street, Portsea.

A CGI picture of the new block planned for Kent Street'Picture: PLC Architects

A CGI picture of the new block planned for Kent Street'Picture: PLC Architects

If approved by Portsmouth City Council's planning committee the homes would be built on the current car park of the Groundlings Theatre, a Grade II-Listed former Georgian school.

The new block would also be linked to the theatre which would undergo repairs during the construction process. Seven car parking spaces would be kept for use of the theatre.

But nearby residents believe the area has been 'oversaturated' with student homes, citing Europa House on Havant Street, homes on St George's Way and St James' Street as well as various houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Portsea Action Group member Linda Daniels, 72, said: 'We have already got three or four student halls in Portsea.

A new student block planned for the car park of the Groundlings Theatre in Portsea'Picture: PLC Architects

A new student block planned for the car park of the Groundlings Theatre in Portsea'Picture: PLC Architects

'There are student halls all over the city, is that not enough?'

The new block on Kent Street would back onto her road.

'We've got some student homes at the end of the road,' the Curzon Howe Road resident said.

'They're outside until 2am making noise and smoking. It's horrendous. What's it going to be like with 38 new flats?'

Portsmouth housing activist Cal Corkery was also concerned about the amount of student housing in the city. He said: 'Portsea is dominated by student accommodation. Portsea traditionally is a very working class. That particular area is very community minded.

'They are worried about all the usual things, like parking, traffic, noise and disruption but also about the effect it will have on the community environment.

'They have already got Europa House there which is really big and then there are a lot of HMOs in the area. A lot of those are ex-council houses which means there is less housing for Portsmouth people.'

In a design statement PLC Architects said: 'In urban design terms it is considered that the contemporary appearance and scale of the new building, juxtaposed with the listed building, will improve the local environment, enlivening the local architecture and streetscape.

'The proposals are designed to be entirely compatible with the preservation of the special architectural and historic intent of the listed building and with the
preservation (and indeed, enhancement) of the character and appearance of
Portsea conservation area.'

New plans to redevelop former tax office Wingfield House, on Commercial Road, as student housing have also recently been submitted by PLC Architects.

Residents who want to find out more about the campaign can attend the meeting at 4.30pm on December 20 at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.