SCORES of people turned up at a former prison to see proposals for the site to be turned into housing.
Developers City and Country were at former Kingston Prison today to show plans for a housing scheme that would bring in up to 280 new flats. And in order to satisfy the need to provide social housing, this figure could rise to 388 new homes.
This was the third consultation to be held at the prison in St Mary’s Road, Milton.
Much of the prison is listed and cannot be demolished or changed, including the perimeter wall, the front entrance and four of the wings.
Developers showed projections of how flats, which would be a maximum of seven storeys high, gardens and two entrances would be created.
Malcolm Foord, 69, of Southsea, said: ‘I have full confidence in the developer because it is working closely with Historic England and Portsmouth City Council, as it lays out its plans.
I think the proposals are horrendous. They will be putting up hideous blocksCouncillor Lynne Stagg
‘I would have liked the National Trust to have been involved so the site could have been preserved for future generations, as it’s a part of our history.
‘But I’m glad it’s not going to be a hotel.’
Concerns were raised the flats would not be affordable to Portsmouth residents.
Derek Clark, 71, of Telford Road, Hilsea, said: ‘I don’t think the housing they have planned is suitable for my generation, or indeed many people in Portsmouth.
‘It looks like a prestigious sort of development and although no housing prices have been given, these plans seem grand.
‘I think they will get taken up out-of-town investors.
‘I would have liked to see a hotel here or for it to have turned into an art gallery.’
Councillor Lynne Stagg, who represents the Milton ward where the site is, is concerned about the number of homes coming to the area.
She said: ‘I think the proposals are horrendous. They will be putting up hideous blocks.
‘But also, we have housing planned for St James’ Hospital and we have 191 homes being built near St Mary’s, so we’re going to see something like 850 new properties.
‘Most of the people who will live in them will have a car, or two, and that’s going to be horrendous for the roads.’
Views from this consultation will be taken on board, and the developers said they hope to submit a planning application in December.
Then a fourth consultation is due to take place in January to display these plans.