New 11-storey student tower block in Portsmouth is given the go-aheadÂ
A NEW 11-storey student block will be built on the site of a former Labour Club despite fears about its location on a 'dangerous' junction.
At a planning committee on Wednesday, Portsmouth councillors approved the construction of 123 student flats on the corner of Holbrook Road and Coburg Street.
The block will replace Unity Hall, which has been out of use since 2012, and will also provide facilities such as bicycle storage, a gym and a courtyard.
However, many councillors raised fears about how it would be situated on the edge of a busy roundabout.
Cllr Lynne Stagg commented: 'I am concerned about dropping off and picking up as the entrance is going to come out onto Holbrook Road. That's an incredibly busy junction which concerns me greatly. That roundabout is constantly moving.'
The council's assistant director city development, Claire Upton-Brown, agreed thatÂ this was something that needed to be considered. 'A solution needs to be found,' she said.
'With all these halls there are fewer problems with the end of term as that is more staggered, it is the first day of term when everyone is arriving. There must be a solution to deal with that.'
Cllr Stagg added that the space for 40 cycle spaces would not be enough coupled with the fact there were no plans for car parking spaces. 'In terms of the cycle storage I am trying, as the transport minister, to get rid of cars, trying to get cars off the road,' she said.
'Please help me by putting in more cycle storage.'
Some also felt that the brick structure, which would sit at 11-storeys high on the Holbrook Road side and four-storeys towards Coburg Street, would look 'out of place.'
Cllr Claire Udy said: 'The building is so ugly and so out of character. I know the old Labour Club does need to be knocked down but this is so out of keeping with the area.'
But applicant Andrew Whiteley from Glenmore Student Property was confident in the design. He said: 'This development will provide high quality, purpose built student accommodation for those studying in Portsmouth.
'The development supports the key policies for Portsmouth and crucially will comprehensively regenerate a site that is currently under-utilised whilst funding the delivery of purpose-built accommodationÂ within the city.'
Councillors could find no grounds to refuse the application but instead granted delegated authority to Ms Upton-Brown to make any amendments necessary.
It was decided she will look into increasing the number of bike spaces and how to implement a drop-off/pick-up spot.