Milton residents in Portsmouth will vote this summer on neighbourhood plan

A REFERENDUM is set to be held in Milton this summer on a new planning document for the area.

By Josh Wright
Friday, 17th June 2022, 4:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 12:32 pm

Members of Portsmouth City Council's cabinet will be asked to authorise the vote when they meet next week in what is the final hurdle for the neighbourhood plan.

The process of putting together the plan, which sets out priorities for the area and will be used to help determine decisions on planning applications, began in June 2015 when the area was designated.

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'There is pressure on the area to accommodate more development,' the document's foreword, written by Milton Neighbourhood Planning Forum and Milton Neighbourhood Forum chairmen Rod Bailey and Janice Burkinshaw says.

'We need a neighbourhood plan which will encourage development that meets the needs of residents, is benign on the local environment, wildlife and on our health and wellbeing whilst being economically beneficial to landowners and the city in the long term.

'We want to encourage development contributing to a sense of place which adopts high quality designs in keeping with what already exists.'

Among the issues addressed in the document are the lack of affordable housing, the ageing population and issues of congestion and pollution and it says the St James' Hospital and Langstone Campus sites are the two main places in the area suitable for development.

It had been hoped the document would be completed within two years but this was delayed, partly due to the pandemic, with the 2019 draft document not reviewed by an independent planning inspector until earlier this year.

This has now been completed and a number of minor changes recommended during the review have been made.

As a result, councillors have now been recommended to approve the document for a referendum in a report published ahead of their Tuesday meeting.

The referendum is due to take place on August 18 and is expected to cost £11,000 to run.

Plans to redevelop St James’s Hospital in Milton came before a planning committee in January but were deferred and have yet to return for a decision. The £55 scheme from developer PJ Livesey would have seen 200 homes built, but stirred up strong feelings in the community.