We can only look enviously at neighbours along the M27

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The contrast is striking.

Along the M27 in Southampton, building work on a striking five-star hotel modelled to look like a superyacht is about to start.

A vacant plot at Ocean Village is going to be transformed into somewhere that will be a powerful symbol of how the city is moving ahead with confidence and optimism.

Meanwhile, here in Portsmouth we can only look on enviously at our south coast neighbours. Because, despite the best efforts of the city council, nobody has yet been convinced to build a five-star hotel here.

There were high hopes that a hotel company or developer could be attracted to build quality accommodation ready for the America’s Cup regatta that will bring huge numbers of people to the city in July.

But sadly plans remain on the drawing board rather than being realised in bricks and mortar.

Today we reveal how talks with a developer about turning the Royal Marines Museum site at Eastney into a five-star hotel have broken down.

City council leader Councillor Donna Jones says the listed status of the building may have caused planning issues and the unnamed developer was now not likely to proceed.

There is certainly a will to bring a top-end hotel to Portsmouth. The council has published a prospectus to entice hotels into the city and sites have been mooted in Queen Street, around Southsea Common and Old Portsmouth.

There is no doubt we need one.

Not just for the prestige and for what it says about our city, but to attract tourists and business people who want that level of accommodation.

Yet until somebody commits to a project and the foundations are actually laid, it remains a frustrating pipe dream.