NEWS COMMENT: New country park will be the jewel in city's crown
As a welcome to our great city, the enormous, ugly brown landfill site at Port Solent has always left much to be desired.Â
But the huge dump, to the west of the M275, will be given a gleaming makeover in a Â£50m project to transform it into a 128-acre country park.Â
How many cities as densely-populated as ours can boast as much green space as we have?Â
There's the miles of glorious seafront, Victoria Park, Milton Locks, Southsea Common and now this, Horsea Island Country Park, the jewel in our crown.Â
It's going to take two years to turn the eyesore into a place to be proud of.
At the moment it's an embarrassment, and, much like Portsmouth and Southsea railway station, that creates a rather drabÂ impression of our Great Waterfront CityÂ to visitors.Â
But soon, thanks to in injection of cash from the government's City Deal, if we want countryside, it'll be on our doorstep.
What a blessing forÂ children in the north of the city '“Â and beyond '“ to be able to walk through wildflower meadows, and wander through the 50,000 trees in the Queens Diamond Jubilee Woods.Â
For many, yesterday'sÂ announcement will have come as a huge relief.Â
It's been a long-held aspiration of Portsmouth City Council to develop the land '“Â along with the Tipner regeneration project which will see thousands of new homes and businesses on land opposite.Â
People driving into the city don't want to look at a scrapyard and a rubbish tip.Â
But with the ownership of the land in so many different hands, it has been an enormously complex process to bring it to this stage.Â
Everyone involved in the negotiations should be applauded.Â Â
This has been a long time coming but it's what the city deserves.Â