Decision on £20m transport hub for Portsmouth previously branded 'ugly and huge' set to be made
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Members of the city council planning committee will be told the scheme, the first iteration of which they rejected last year after describing it as 'ugly and huge', is fully compliant with policies and should be awarded planning permission.
'The application accords with the general principles and objectives of the Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework, for the broad and overlapping areas of transportation, accessibility, sustainability, air quality, and the local economy,' a report published ahead of Wednesday's meeting says.
Submitted last month, the outline application for the site off the M275 reduced the height of the nine-storey facility by between three and six metres in response to the issues raised by councillors previously.
‘I hope these changes are enough to overcome the concerns the planning committee had,’ cabinet member for transport Lynne Stagg said. ‘The plans need to be put into context: air pollution and congestion are two of the biggest problems we have in the city and this is a really effective way to reduce both.’
The 2,650-space facility would also provide bike and e-scooter hire provision, while also hosting an increased number of bus services to and from the city.
A 'significant' number of the parking spaces would be reserved for cruise ship passengers using the port.
And Cllr Stagg said it would also host a courier transfer facility, allowing larger lorries to drop off packages to be delivered around the city by electric vans and cargo bikes.
She said this would reduce the number of cars travelling into the city, in turn reducing air pollution.
Planted walls are also proposed for the building to further reduce air pollution and to improve its design.
‘The expansion of the current park and ride facility is an important project for Portsmouth, ’ a statement written by the council’s planning agent Savills says. ‘The proposal will enable a significant increase in the number vehicles that will be captured before they enter the centre of Portsmouth.
‘This will have the effect of reducing the volume of traffic and pollution, helping reach emissions targets set by the council.’
Should planning permission be granted, construction is due to begin next year.