New plans for Connect Centre in Portsmouth submitted - with fewer flats in tower block

REVISED plans to convert a prominent 11-storey Portsmouth office block into flats have been submitted.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:28 pm
The Connect Centre Picture: Keith Woodland (120420-11)

But now new plans have been put forward by developer Cordage 36 Limited, proposing a smaller number of larger flats be created in the building which it said would have a 'reduced' impact.

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Two previous prior approval applications, the first submitted in 2013 for 90 flats and the second this year for 149 have been allowed by the council on the grounds that the conversions would have an acceptable effect.

The most recent would have seen a mixture of studio and one-bedroom flats created alongside one parking space for each.

But now new plans for the conversion of the office block have been submitted, seeking to reduce the number, but increase the size of flats within the building.

They propose 101 flats be created across the nine upper floors, 53 of which would be one-bedroom but 22 would be two-bedroom and 26 would be three-bedroom. Alongside these would be more than two-dozen fewer parking spaces but now more than one per flat.

A statement submitted on behalf of the developer by planning agent Pegasus Group says this would lessen the impact of the development.

‘The precedent of utilising the existing site access off Kingston Crescent for residential use is established under prior approval [applications],' it says.

‘The proposal incorporates 48 (32 per cent) residential units fewer than those approved under [the previous application], including 27 (16 per cent) fewer car parking spaces.

‘Therefore, the amount of trips and traffic associated with this application proposals will be reduced in comparison to the extant prior approval which was deemed acceptable.’

The statement adds that each of the flats would receive 'adequate daylight' with each having been laid out with its habitable rooms next to the existing windows.

It also adds that this, combined with the council's previous rulings on the conversion of the building into residential accommodation, means the latest application should also be approved.

According to the plans, the parking would be provided on the existing ground floors.

Storage for 149 bikes, in order to comply with council planning policy, and bins would be introduced on the lower ground floor.

A final decision will be made by council planning officers in the coming weeks.