Plans for controversial 'super peninsula' will continue - despite concerns it will 'trash' a protected area
WORK to consider a 'super peninsula' in the north of the city to build more homes will continue as planned despite concerns it will 'trash' a protected area.
Portsmouth City Council is exploring all options to meet government-imposed housing targets and is looking at a scheme to reclaim land around Tipner West.
The reclaimed 22 hectares would allow for 2,200 new homes as well as roads, businesses and a school, extending the disused Ministry of Defence land.
At a cabinet meeting this week councillors admitted they were not happy with the scheme.
Speaking about fears raised by Natural England about disturbing migratory birds including Brent Geese, Councillor Lee Hunt said: 'You see egrets, skylarks and a huge range of flora and fauna there.
'The government is saying we want you to trash your site of special interest.
'Personally I would like to see it become an open space for people.
'I don't want us to keep on trashing bits of open space and our natural heritage.
'I don't know how we are going to overcome this particular issues because they are of such importance - they outweigh the need to build.'
But he acknowledged why plans were being considered. 'Unless we show them we are looking at every single piece of land and exploring the possibility we will become a bit of a cropper,' he said.
Cllr Lynne Stagg agreed but said it be a chance to create 'sustainable homes.'
She said: 'We should ensure environmentally sustainable homes are built. For example, there are types of bricks that retain heat in the winter and are cool in the summer.
'It's not a chance we're going to get again.'
Housing targets set by government ask for 17,260 new homes in the city between 2016 and 2036. Portsmouth currently has capacity for 14,500 extra homes.
Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: 'We have not found other space.
'I might not like the plan but it's the least worst option. It's an imaginative way to go and potentially offers something for the city.'
All cabinet members apart from Cllr Hunt voted in favour of continuing with the plan.