Objections flood in as nearly 200 people protest against plans for 107 homes in Portsmouth

NEARLY 200 objections have been raised against plans for new homes in sold-off grounds at St James' Hospital in Portsmouth.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 6:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:36 am
Artists' impression of homes set to be built on the former site of villas in the grounds of St James' Hospital. Picture: Homes Agency

Since the application for the family homes and apartments in Milton was put forward it has received 199 objections from residents and campaign groups including Milton Planning Forum, Milton Neighbourhood Forum and Keep Milton Green.

Dozens of these objections have been filed in the past week alone as the campaign against the housing has continued to gather momentum.

If the plans are approved 107 homes will be built in the grounds off Locksway Road, with approval already given to knock down villas to makes space.

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Milton resident, Florence Doyle, of Moorings Way, said: ‘There are too many reasons why the development is a bad idea as opposed to being a beneficial investment.

‘Not only will it have a huge effect on the population of the rare local wildlife but it will also provide much disruption to the local area in terms of traffic and pollution. Piling more cars onto our local congested roads will cause dangerous levels of pollution, causing health problems for the next generation.

‘Local services will be over subscribed. There aren’t enough doctors and school places for the new residents, who will be living in this housing.

‘Parking is already an issue in Milton. The added cars will need to be parked somewhere too, which will exacerbate the issue.

‘There will be a loss of another green area which many people rely on as a place to wind down and relax.

‘The development will lead to the loss of habitat for the rare bird life, which has already been disappearing as a result of past construction work. Species such as woodpeckers, jays and swifts have already suffered enough as it is.’

Milton ward councillor Ben Dowling, the council’s planning cabinet member, was aware of residents’ fears.

He said: ‘Milton has a real community spirit where local people know what they want. I am really pleased that people have taken the opportunity to give their point of view.

‘It is clear that we need to think carefully about how we use the land. Any development needs to be sustainable for the future, and take into consideration roads, schools and healthcare services.

He voiced concerns about two of the buildings that already have approval to be knocked down to make way for the houses.

‘The other thing that is key is the Edwardian villas that could be demolished. They are rare examples of architecture from the time, and very rare in England,’ he said.

The former Harbour School, Fair Oak House, and villas the Beeches and Yew House will also be demolished if the council approves the 107-home outline application.

The application by Homes England, which had its consultation period extended, is set to go to a planning committee meeting. A date has not been set.