Horatia House tower block in Somers Town, Portsmouth, fully brought to the ground amid regeneration plans

TOWER block Horatia House in Somers Town has been fully brought to the ground.

The project to replace two Portsmouth City Council tower blocks is continuing.

Horatia House and nearby Leamington House were condemned in the wake of the Grenfell fire in London.

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Horatia House tower block in Somers Town, Portsmouth has almost been taken down
Horatia House in Somers Town has almost been taken down to the ground. Right, after cladding was removed in 2018 Picture Darren Barnett / Habibur Rahman

Tearful residents saw the first piece of the property get removed in January.

Councillor Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing and preventing homelessness, said: ‘This is an important milestone.

‘It's a sad day for everyone who lived in Horatia House, but the exciting plans local people are devising suggest that something better can emerge from the rubble.’

The project to crane down 5,000 concrete panels in the block started in November – with the full Somers Town regeneration project set to finish in the autumn.

Horatia and Leamington Houses Community Panel members (from left) Trish Bell, Maria Cole and Jan Dod, with Portsmouth City Council cabinet members (from left) Cllr Chris Attwell and Cllr Darren Sanders.

Portsmouth City Council and designers from Karakusevic Carson Architects are working on a replacement plan, which was initially drawn up in 2020.

Every flat will be replaced with a new one for council tenants.

The council are also aiming for 200 other homes to be built in the area, and for additional social housing.

Both tower blocks’ cladding was classed as being potentially dangerous and had to be removed.

While it was being replace in 2018, workers discovered concrete was found to be weakened and at risk of collapse.

As a result, the buildings – containing 272 flats across 18 storeys each – were set to be brought down, or ‘deconstructed’.

Residents were moved out following the discovery.

Monthly meetings have been taking place to hear the opinions of residents.