More than 1,200 sign petition against flats planned for Harry Redknapp site at Southsea

An artist's impression the building planned for the Savoy site
An artist's impression the building planned for the Savoy site
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Picture: Paul Jacobs

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CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the developers behind plans for Harry Redknapp’s land on Southsea seafront to think again.

More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition urging developer McCarthy & Stone to redesign its bid to build retirement flats on the site of the former Savoy buildings.

Opponents feel any new buildings must be ‘sensitive’ to local architecture – which they say the design put forward is not – and a public consultation should be carried out into what people really want.

It comes after the plans were met with mixed response from residents at a public exhibition.

Malcolm Foord, a member of East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum, said the proposals resembled a bland ‘office block’ that does nothing to celebrate Southsea, and wants to arrange a meeting with community leaders to address the situation.

‘I have nothing against McCarthy & Stone and I’m sure it will be a lovely block for retired people,’ he said.

‘But my concern is the design. I just feel that dear old Southsea deserves more. Look at The Eardley development in Worthing, where a block of flats similar to the Savoy was demolished, and luxury Edwardian-style flats were built in its place.

‘We may not get luxurious flats, but why does Southsea have to get an office block?’

As reported, the plans include a Co-operative store on the ground floor overlooking the seafront and permission must be granted by Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee before anything happens.

If permission is granted, then McCarthy & Stone will take over the land from Mr Redknapp as part of the terms of the deal.

Conservative councillor Luke Stubbs, who represents the area and lives near the proposed site, said the design wasn’t anything special.

‘The proposal of having a block of flats on that site has been established, but the proposed design is quite generic,’ he said.

‘A planning inspector previously gave permission for something quite similar on appeal so the council is quite boxed in on this.

‘People would welcome it if McCarthy & Stone were prepared to have another look.’