Go-ahead for homes despite many concerns

Have your say

A CONTROVERSIAL housing development four years in the making has been approved despite councillors raising multiple concerns such as flooding.

Seven homes can now be built adjacent to Lealand Road in Drayton following the outcome of yesterday’s planning committee.

Portsmouth councillors previously dismissed the plans last year due to concerns about flooding and the impact to residents.

They then deferred the amended plans earlier this year over fears that the homes would cause more flooding in the area. However, these claims were thrown out by an appeal inspector.

But councillors decided they could not go against the inspectorate’s ruling and voted to approve the site.

The proposal will see six semi-detached dwellings, one coach house and parking spaces on the site which is surrounded by houses and is accessible via Lealand Road.

Residents voiced their concerns at the meeting. Lee Roberts, of Lealand Road, said: ‘The design of this scheme is an over-development of this street and an eyesore to the area.

‘This scheme would only increase the risk of flooding. This will place an unacceptable risk and financial burden on the existing properties and emergency services.

‘Who will be accountable if our homes become flooded? Surely Portsmouth City Council and the local planning authority have a duty of care to protect its residents from flooding?’

Maureen Parvin, also of Lealand Road, agreed: ‘My garden adjoins the north east end of the site in question,’ she said.

‘On occasions the rainwater has already risen half way up my back garden. Who is responsible when it flows into my house? Portsmouth City Council for allowing this ugly over-development that is totally out of keeping with the other homes? Or is the developer responsible?’

This was also a main area of worry for councillors.

Cllr Lynne Stagg said: ‘I do find it concerning about the flooding. I think under normal conditions this would cope. But we have changing weather patterns now and I don’t think it would cope.’

The appeal inspector already deemed risk of flooding as not an issue as plans for French drains, which release water at a controlled rate, were in place.

Other issues raised by the site’s previous application of blocking light and being bulky were addressed in the most recent proposal which saw the first floors of the homes significantly reduced.

Cllr Donna Jones believed this was not enough and was one of three councillors who refused to approve plans. She said: ‘It is a poor development and a gross over-development of the site.

‘I would not buy a house here. The parking spaces are too far from the houses at the opposite end of the site. If there was a fire and you can’t get a fire truck up there what would happen? I would not put my kids in a house here. Two or three bungalows would have been far more sensible.’

Four councillors voted in favour of approval.