Opposition to new retirement home planned for Drayton in Portsmouth

PLANS for a new retirement living complex on the outskirts of Portsmouth have been met with fierce opposition from residents and politicians alike.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 5:41 pm

Churchill Retirement Living has submitted proposals to Portsmouth City Council for the construction of a four-storey building in Havant Road comprising 54 retirement apartments.

The land is currently home to Hampshire Car Sales, which would be demolished if plans are approved.

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Churchill Retirement Living hopes to build something similar to Simmonds Lodge, also in Havant Road. Picture: Churchill Retirement Living

So far, 14 public comments have been made to the city council, 13 of which stand against the proposals.

Malcolm Thorpe lives around the corner from the development site.

He said: ‘In the past 10 years Havant Road has become an OAP retirement home enclave which has done nothing for the area - there are between 30-40 flats in these five blocks which are vacant.

‘Problems occur daily at the junction of Penarth Avenue and Havant Road, and serious accidents will happen.

‘This development will only increase the risk of accidents occurring.’

Also opposed to the proposals is Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘Churchill Retirement Living is already aware of residents’ significant objections to the application - Havant Road already has a number of retirement developments of this type clustered in one area and it is my view that poor strategic planning on behalf of the local authority has allowed this to happen.

‘These types of property are not only harmful to the individual living within such a property but also the fabric of the wider community as a whole; causing additional strain on key services and infrastructure.’

But a spokesman for Churchill Retirement Living maintains that there is a ‘compelling’ need for more properties like this in the Drayton area.

He said: ‘Our plans for a new retirement living development in Drayton follow the success of Simmonds Lodge, which was one of our fastest selling developments in the country.

‘The site in question is brownfield, it is a former car garage with a fuel storage facility and a light industrial unit. It is the perfect location for a new development to bring much needed new homes, jobs and investment to the local area.

‘The creation of specialist housing for older people, with landscaped gardens and land remediation will present significant environmental and aesthetic improvement.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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