Council to be 'cautious' when vying for affordable homes on car-free Tipner West super-peninsula development in Portsmouth

THE city council will 'aspire' to create more affordable homes on a £1bn super-peninsula development - but has to remain 'cautious' in the early stages.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 12:59 pm
How Tipner West could look if the city council's plans are approved. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Portsmouth councillors discussed progress on the Tipner West scheme - which will see around 4,000 new homes built on partly reclaimed land - during a cabinet meeting this week.

They were informed by officers that plans for the car-free community in the north of the city are finally progressing after years of stalemate, and they are looking 'financially viable.'

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However, at the virtual meeting Councillor Cal Corkery, from the Labour party, urged members to up the provision of affordable homes - which are rented at 80 per cent of market value - on the site.

He said: 'In terms of affordable housing I note the report talks about expecting 30 per cent as minimum. That's what it is for any private development.

'However, my position should always be if this is a council regeneration project why can't we aspire to make that higher?

'Why aren't we saying 50 per cent is minimum?'

The council's planning policy boss, Cllr Hugh Mason, explained the 30 per cent limit was 'realistic.' He said: 'The problem is it's not a greenfield site, it's not a site we can just move on to and start building. It's old industrial land, it's badly polluted land, its low lying flood land. This is why we need to be cautious about it.

'The 30 per cent for affordable housing is realistic as far as we can go at the moment. I don't think there's any councillor who would wish to see it go lower or fight to keep it at least at this level.

'The important thing is the area is an area that's ideal for affordable housing but it's going to be costly. It's always been a mess and I intend to stop it being a mess.'

Cllr Steve Pitt added: 'Sometimes some of the funding routes to deliver affordable or social housing might be additional to to what was granted planning permission, so we might not want to set it at 50 per cent in the early stages.'

So far £8m has been made available to spend on plans for Tipner West from the government's city deal fund.

As reported, plans for Tipner West have come under fire from wildlife groups amid concerns for the destruction of habitats.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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