New hotel to be built on Portsmouth business park site

Taxpayers forking out millions in legal costs

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A NEW resort hotel in the expanding Lakeside business park development has been approved by city planners.

Despite not winning plaudits from every member of Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee, the decision to grant permission to De Vere Village Hotels & Leisure was unanimous yesterday.

The 124-bedroom hotel will be on the eastern edge of Lakeside North Harbour, on Western Road close to the new Porsche Centre.

Its designers hope to provide additional leisure, food and conference facilities for companies based at the business park and the wider community.

Facility management company Highcross sold the 3.1-acre site to the De Vere Group, which acquired as a 250-year leasehold interest in the land earlier this year.

In its application the hotel chain said it wants to create ‘a development of high quality design which will provide the opportunity, especially along Lakeshore Drive, for a number of taller iconic buildings which, as a group will help to establish a new landmark in north Portsmouth’.

But the plans did not win approval from the city council’s design board, which labelled them ‘not acceptable in design terms’.

And the committee’s Lib Dem chairman Lee Hunt was also not impressed. He said: ‘It looks like a multi-storey car park to me.’

In response Tory councillor Luke Stubbs argued that there was no legitimate planning reason not to approve the plans.

He said: ‘I think it is a competent design that is quite pleasing to the eye.

‘It is not exactly world-class but we have got to be realistic. We need to create jobs in the city and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.’

Nick Turner, asset management director at Highcross, said: ‘The De Vere Group’s plan to locate one of its Village Urban Resorts at Lakeside North Harbour is great news, and reflects the strengths of the park’s excellent location, attractive environment and expanding business community.’