Hundreds of residents flock to Somers Town May Fayre - and get to see progress on demolition of two city tower blocks

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HUNDREDS revellers partied in the sun during a community fayre which showcased plans to redevelop the site of two ageing city tower blocks.

More than 1,000 people turned out for the Somers Town May Fayre, staged by Portsmouth City Council, over the weekend.

It was also a chance to show the community plans by the council for 480 new homes in the area to replace Horatia and Leamington houses, which are being demolished.

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Revellers at the Somers Town May FayreRevellers at the Somers Town May Fayre
Revellers at the Somers Town May Fayre

Councillor Darren Sanders, the Liberal Democrat cabinet member for housing and preventing homelessness. said: ‘It was great to see so many people here. It's a real vote of confidence in the work the council is doing to improve the area. After decades of false dawns, people can start to see real change for the better.

‘It was also great to see so many people taking part in the consultation on the current suggestions. Local people have been at the heart of everything the council has done here and the plans are better for it.’

Deconstruction of the towers is moving at speed and the council is simultaneously looking at the detail of achieving a mix of houses, flats and community space with the community itself having influenced its development.

It’s hoped the two towers – which we branded ‘unsafe’ following an inspection to remove dangerous cladding in 2018 – will be completely demolished by the autumn.

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Revellers at the Somers Town May FayreRevellers at the Somers Town May Fayre
Revellers at the Somers Town May Fayre

City leaders anticipate full plans for what will replace the site could be unveiled before the end of the year.

Rowan Melville senior architect at Karakusevic Carson Architects, who displayed the plans the council and design team have been working on, said: ‘It was fantastic to see so many local people out having fun and getting to know more about the plans for the area.’

Cllr Sanders said: ‘Everything is going according to plan. We didn’t want the blocks to just hang around there. People want to see progress. We have been clear we want to see progress as well.’

He added: We want local people in Somers Town to feel part of their future. That hasn’t always happened before.’Those keen to join a community panel and influence the development of the area can contact Tim Raw, the council's regeneration engagement manager, on [email protected] or 07901 100537. There are monthly meetings with the design team.

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