Feedback work on condemned Leamington and Horaria Houses praised

Leamington House and Horatia House aerials. Picture: Portsmouth City Council
Leamington House and Horatia House aerials. Picture: Portsmouth City Council
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COUNCILLORS and residents have praised work to gather feedback from members of the public about the future of the site of two condemned city tower blocks.

Homes and businesses around Leamington and Horatia Houses in Somers Town were recently surveyed about how the area should be redeveloped once the blocks are taken down.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting today (Oct 8) Connor Darcy, a resident who lives near the towers, said: 'Listening to the residents they were so pleased the city council has bothered to ask their views about what should happen to Leamington and Horatia House and the surrounding areas.

'The easy option would have been to ignore the weaknesses in the concrete or sell them on for student housing, which were both suggestions made by councillors. I'm glad you have ignored these short-sighted views. 

'Please make a sensible long-term solution for this area.'

Councillor Rob Wood who represents St Thomas ward, where the towers are, agreed. He said: 'This could have been a disaster. But this has been a smooth operation. There have been no problems with residents in my ward about this.'

For Cllr Darren Sanders, the council's housing boss, it was important that the council should consider building even more than the 272 homes that will be lost. He said: 'This is a welcome chance to shape the city's future based on its needs, including the needs of the people who live locally.

'I think re-writing the report we can be more ambitious than that. We should say we will provide at least the same amount of social housing that was lost.'

An information event on the houses will take place on Thursday, October 10 from 8am to 7pm at the Somers Town Central Cafe in Rivers Street.