Self-portraits of Somers Town locals sought to brighten up site of 'unsafe' Leamington House and Horatia House as they are taken down

COLOURFUL self-portraits are being sought to brighten up the site of two 'unsafe’ tower blocks earmarked for demolition.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 4:55 am

The plea has come courtesy of Portsmouth City Council ahead of Leamington House and Horatia House in Somers Town being taken down.

In a one-minute video, voiced by schoolchildren Amelie Cooper and Nelly Raw, both 10, people who live or work in Somers Town are urged to send in their self portraits to Portsmouth City Council.

The designs will then be used to decorate the hoardings around the deconstruction site of the two tower blocks in Meriden Road and Earlsdon Street.

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A montage of some of the residents from Somers Town who have created their own self portraits. Photo: Portsmouth City Council

‘We want the local community to be at the heart of this project, right the way from these early deconstruction, and planning, stages through to the end of the development project, when we will deliver hundreds of new homes for Portsmouth people at prices Portsmouth people can afford,’ said Councillor Darren Sanders, Portsmouth housing and homelessness boss.

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As previously reported, Leamington House and Horatia House were found to be unsafe in 2018 after work to remove Grenfell-style cladding from their exteriors revealed weaknesses in the concrete.

The 1960s structures will be taken down, piece by piece, in a project that is expected to take about a year – costing around £10m.

Samantha Parkinson pictured with her self portrait.

The responsibility of taking down the buildings will fall to Portsmouth firm Hughes and Salvidge.

Will Spong, Hughes and Salvidge business development manager, said: ‘Hughes and Salvidge is not only delighted to be awarded this project but is also excited at the prospect of working in a community of the city that is a stone's throw from our head office.

‘We have been based in Portsmouth since our formation in 1964 and many of our workforce live in the city.

‘This is a project close to our hearts and we look forward to bringing our expertise and diligence to work alongside the council and in collaboration with the local community.

Lee 'Leezie' Marshfield's design.

‘Our dedication to this project and the community it sits in, we believe, will be the catalyst for an exciting future era for this area of Portsmouth.’

Hoardings will be fixed in the first week of June, with work due to take place before the end of summer 2022.

To submit a self portrait, email it to [email protected] or post it to: Tim Raw, strategic developments, regeneration, Portsmouth City Council, PO1 2AL

To find out more about the Horatia and Leamington Houses deconstruction and redevelopment programmes watch a project info video at horatialeamington.portsmouth.gov.uk

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