Work begins on 260 homes in Kingston Prison site in Portsmouth

AFTER acquiring the land nine years ago, a developer has finally started work to build new homes on the site of a former prison.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 17th January 2021, 2:44 pm
An artist's impression of what Kingston Prison could look like

City and Country Construction Limited, which is building 76 dwellings within Kingston Prison, Milton, has started to open up the boundary walls along St Mary’s and Milton Road, as well as undertaking utility services next to the main entrance gate.

Permission had been given for 230 homes on the site in 2016, however a viability assessment ruled that City and Country would not be financially able to build affordable homes, which was an essential requirement for the development.

Vivid Homes was brought in to provide 183 new properties as affordable accommodation, with the potential for some to be social housing dependent on grant availability.

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CGI of Kingston Prison

The total number of homes on the site has now risen to 267.

In a letter sent out to residents, City and Country said it would work to be ‘as neighbour friendly’ as possible.

Leeann Tanner, personal assistant to company’s construction director, said in the statement: ‘Please be advised that we will be increasing our presence at the former prison from Monday January 27, ready to commence our enabling works which will last for approximately six months.

‘The works will involve making the new openings to the boundary walls on St Mary’s and Milton Road along with some ground works and utility services work adjacent to the main entrance gate.

Kingston Prison in Milton Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (180837-1415)

‘During this time we will endeavour to ensure that everything is carried out to make the process as neighbour friendly as possible.’

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Portsmouth's housing boss Councillor Darren Sanders said he wanted the development to start and end ‘as soon as possible.’

The Baffins Ward councillor said: ‘We will work to ensure the development is green as possible and minimise construction vehicles parking in nearby road.

‘We have always wanted to make sure that it benefited the people of Portsmouth and not just private developers, so we were relieved when Vivid came on board.’

Vivd Home will begin work on the affordable homes ‘in Spring 2020,’ according to Linda Bonnin, head of land, new businesses and planning at the company.

She said: ‘We’re are delighted to confirm the acquisition of land from City and Country Group at the former Kingston Prison site in Portsmouth.

‘Work will start in in Spring 2020 to deliver 183 new-build apartments available under shared ownership and affordable rent tenures.’

Rents will be set at levels comparable to social housing for 110 of the units, while the remaining 73 will operate on a shared ownership model.

Cllr Sanders added: ‘This will encourage people to get on the property ladder.’

HM Prison Kingston was closed by The Ministry of Justice in 2013 and sold in 2014.