Plans for 12-storey tower in Portsmouth without parking branded '˜ludicrous'

PROPOSALS for a new 12-storey building that will see a pub knocked down have come under fire as '˜ludicrous' due to a lack of parking.

Monday, 4th June 2018, 7:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 2:46 pm
An artists' impressions of the 12-storey building in Wickham Street in Portsea after the Invincible pub is demolished. Picture: Chamberlain Gaunt

Private developers PVD2 Limited submitted an outline application to demolish The Invincible pub and construct the block in its place in Wickham Street, Portsea, near the historic dockyard.

It will include 76 bedsits, a gym, a communal lounge and kitchen as well as eight visitors’ parking spots. However, it will not provide any parking for residents.

Portsmouth City Council’s leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘If the homes are for 76 professionals then it is ludicrous to think that they won’t need parking spaces.’

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The Invincible, Wickham Street. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The council’s boss for regeneration, Cllr Ben Dowling, said: ‘The city council has a really clear strategy for parking. If the developers don’t want to follow this then they would need to absolutely demonstrate that this build would benefit the area.

‘But it is important that we have homes for local people and it’s a positive thing that developers are looking to build here.’

The Invincible called time two weeks ago.

Cllr Dowling added: ‘It is a real shame to lose a good community pub but there are often reasons behind it. Hopefully we can use the space for something really positive.’

People in the area have bemoaned the loss of the pub.

Francis Stanley, 64, of Arundel Street, said: ‘It used to be such a good pub but that was quite a long time ago, going back more than 10 years.’

Her sister Zena Harris, 66, from Cosham, added: ‘It is a shame because it seems like all the local pubs we used to go to have closed like the Three Crowns in Southsea, and the Brewhouse and Blue Anchor in Portsea.

‘We do need more housing but it is a shame because you can really see so many changes to the area already.’

Raymond Byng, 69, of Blossoms Square, used to drink there in the 1980s. ‘It was always packed and had a great atmosphere,’ he said.

John Wallace, 39, of Portsea, said: ‘It used to be a brilliant pub. It was definitely a pub for locals.’

In a statement Architects Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, who designed the building, said: ‘We have drawn inspiration from Portsmouth’s history and heritage, introducing a contemporary design that responds appropriately to the local context in both appearance and materiality.’