Nice view! It should be for £2m

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As far as living room views go, this one takes some beating. From the penthouse atop Portsmouth's new skyscraper, the whole city is laid out like a map at your feet.

Tower blocks look like little stacks of Lego bricks and people passing by far below appear to be no bigger than ants.

The top floor viewing deck of the nearby Spinnaker Tower is at eye level and the shimmering expanse of the Solent is spread out in the distance.

From 330ft up it's eerily quiet – only the occasional squawk from a seagull punctuates the silence.

And the floor-to-ceiling windows make it feel like you're standing in a bubble suspended in mid-air.

The person who ends up buying this home in the sky will need a head for heights and a bulging wallet – it will set you back around 2m.

Described as the 'best penthouse on the south coast', it's the stunning views of Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent that will attract someone to part with their cash.

To make sure the view remains breathtaking, the outside of the windows are cleaned six times a year and the glass has been coated with a self-cleaning formula which reacts with daylight, to help break down dirt like bird poo.

Rainwater also spreads when it comes into contact with the glass, meaning it runs off in a sheet, rather than in droplets.

The News was given exclusive access to the penthouse at No 1 Gunwharf – the development's proper name, although it has been dubbed the 'lipstick tower' because of its shape.

At the moment it's an empty shell, but it's not hard to imagine how impressive it will be when it's finished.

Originally destined to be two penthouses, developer Berkeley Homes is moving towards creating just one super-apartment.

It will be 4,000 square feet of prime living space – that's about the same size as a big four or five-bed family home.

The two-storey penthouse fills up the crow's nest, which is visible from the outside of the tower.

There's only a small plant room on the floor above.

Robin Rixon, sales and marketing director for Berkeley Homes, says: 'We're still deciding but I think it will be one penthouse. We think that it's appropriate to have one amazing penthouse, rather than two not so amazing penthouses.

'If you are in the market for something very special, in a central location, there would be everything you need here.'

So what will a buyer get? 'The view, the whole Gunwharf Quays experience that you are buying into,' explains Robin. 'It's not just about the shopping, it's also about the lifestyle here and the shops and the restaurants.

'The new Brasserie Blanc (on the ground floor] is fantastic, so you know that's on your doorstep here. How great would it be to have them serve you dinner in your penthouse at No 1 Gunwharf?

'If you are only going to want something that you are going to use occasionally you can be here in one and a half hours by car or train, and Gatwick is nearby.

'Portsmouth is a gentler place than London. The people are friendlier, they smile at you. It's very relaxing here.'

He's untroubled by the fact that the country is in the grip of a recession because he believes those buying into this development of 141 properties, the tallest residential skyscraper on the south coast, haven't been as affected by the economic crisis.

'The kind of people we are selling too are not concerned with that,' he adds. 'It's a lifestyle purchase in the mid to long-term. A lot of them are cash buyers or only relying on small mortgages, not 80 or 90 per cent mortgages, so I don't think it's an issue.'

Half the properties, which start at 150,000, have already been sold, and Robin believes that within 12 months the rest will have been snapped up. The penthouse should be finished by October.

Prospective owners interested in buying any of the other apartments can now visit the new sales suite, which opened on the 22nd floor last month.

It is attracting up to 40 visitors every weekend, and those interested in buying can see the show apartments, decked out with marble and limestone.

High-ranking service personnel and Pompey footballers have apparently already bought into No 1 Gunwharf – although Robin is far too discreet to name names.

It's attracted retired couples looking for second homes, yacht owners and rich businessmen who fancy swapping the coast of Dubai for the seaside views of Portsmouth every now and again.