'Ugly and huge'£20m Tipner park and ride expansion plans rejected by Portsmouth councillors

COUNCILLORS opposed £20m plans to expand the city's park and ride to create a ‘new gateway' into Portsmouth amid concerns over the ‘huge’ scale of the ‘ugly’ outline application.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:55 am
Park and Ride illustrations How the new park and ride in Portsmouth could look. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

A new seven-storey transport hub, on the site of the existing Tipner park and ride adjacent to the M275, was thrown out in its current form by the planning committee on Tuesday.

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Chief among the fears were allowing a scheme that would allow parking spaces of 2,650.

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An idea of the greening technique for the park and ride. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

The proposals also included a bike hub with parking, a taxi rank, car, scooter and bicycle rental, public conveniences and offices and units.

Outline proposals in the planning committee report said: ‘The development proposals comprise a transport hub incorporating a transport interchange and a park and ride as a destination at the gateway to Portsmouth and the planned development around Tipner.

‘The development incorporates a multi-decked park and ride, which will replace the surface car parking areas of the existing park ride. Bus access into the bus stop area would be unchanged from the existing layout and vehicle access and egress would remain as per the existing arrangement.

‘The proposal is to redevelop the site with a multi-storey building up to 34.8 metres in height to provide up to 2,650 car spaces (a 398 per cent increase) and up to 50 cycle spaces.

‘It is also proposed, given the scale of the park and ride facility and the transfer of people from car to bus and vice versa to support small ancillary commercial and leisure uses.’

But councillors were not happy with the height of the multi-storey building and the number of spaces and the possible impact on nearby residents.

Chair of the committee, councillor Lee Hunt, said: ‘I’m not happy with the application and I get the feeling the committee is not happy too.

‘The height, scale and massing could be an overwhelming edifice on the side of the motorway.’

He added: ‘The scale is so enormous it is not acceptable to most people.’

He was supported by Cllr Matthew Atkins who had concerns over ‘why the space and size (of the proposal) was needed’ with concerns over the ‘negative impact on the city’.

Cllr Atkins also had fears the city could be left with a ‘half occupied building’.

Cllr Jo Hooper said she had not ‘heard the need for 2,650 spaces had been proven’ before likening it to cramming in the ‘ugly sisters’ feet into Cinderella's slipper’.

Meanwhile heritage campaigner Celia Clarke branded the proposal an ‘ugly and huge car park’ that would ‘not send out the right message on entrance to the city’.

She also said it would have a negative impact on historical buildings.

The plans were submitted by Savills on behalf of Portsmouth City Council and also included trees and plants on the building to create a 'green mountain' effect.

‘The application in its current form is not acceptable due to its height, scale, amassing and the harmful impact on surrounding residential homes... (and) on the assets around,’ Cllr Hunt said.

Councillors voted to refuse the plans.

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