Futuristic health hub plans are dismissed

The proposed five-storey health hub in London Road, North End
The proposed five-storey health hub in London Road, North End
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PLANS for a health hub that were dubbed ‘years ahead of its time’ have been thrown out by councillors.

The ambitious proposals for the site of the 99p Store in London Road, Portsmouth, were canned by the city council’s planning committee due to there being ‘too many things wrong with it.’

Concerns included the design, lack of parking spaces, impact on air quality along the route and use of an extremely narrow alleyway from the car park to London Road which users would have to navigate.

Councillor Darren Sanders lamented the decision to refuse the application from the Project Support Practice.

He said: ‘We need more buildings like this in the city. North End really needs an anchor and that is one of the big problems for the area.

‘This has the potential to be that anchor so why oh why have we got to this stage where the proposals are not acceptable.

‘It is incredibly frustrating in terms of the fact that this is something that could be so good for the city but has so many flaws. I would love it to happen but I do not think it can. There are just too many things wrong with it.’

The innovative scheme on the site of the former Woolworth’s and current 99p Store, would have seen a doctor’s surgery, dentist, optician, physiotherapist and a pharmacy all under one roof.

A 27-bedroom care home and 32-bedroom nursing home would be built on the upper floors in addition to 24 assisted living flats.

The committee’s chairman Councillor Jim Fleming said that the height of the proposed structure would not assist in getting rid of nitrogen dioxide from one of the city’s main arteries.

Steve Harris, a consultant for the project, added: ‘The concept of this scheme is years ahead of its time.’

Defending the proposals, Donald Boddy of The PSP said the criticism of the scheme was ‘totally unfair.’