Plans for 230 homes submitted at St James' Hospital in Milton

‘WE CAN do so much better than this.’

Friday, 6th March 2020, 11:55 am
Updated Friday, 6th March 2020, 1:33 pm

That is the view of councillors and campaigners urging the city to demand more from plans for 230 homes at a former hospital site.

Controversial proposals to redevelop St James' Hospital in Milton into housing have now been submitted by developer PJ Livesey, however, concerns over the types of homes on offer and traffic have been raised.

If approved the Grade II-listed hospital building will be converted into 146 flats and houses, with 84 new homes built on the site.

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St James Hospital, Locksway Road, Milton, Portsmouth. Picture: by Liam Nash Photography

The developer said 25 of which will be affordable. Newer extensions to the hospital would be demolished but the existing cricket pitch and chapel will be retained.

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But Portsmouth City Council's housing cabinet member, Councillor Darren Sanders, said: ‘We can do better than this. I believe this meets the needs of the developers and not the housing needs of the city.

‘We know we need lots of family homes, homes for the elderly and community facilities on site. We need homes people can afford but we understand there will only be about 10 per cent affordable homes here.

St James Hospital. Picture: Lorna Wilkinson.

‘And there's no commitment to reduce air pollution or use renewable energy.

‘I'd ask residents to write to the council individually will your concerns as this has more impact than on petition with 4,000 signatures on.’

Milton representative, Cllr Ben Dowling, agreed. ‘This will have a significant impact on the area in terms of traffic, air pollution, school spaces and the impact on the green nature of the hospital grounds,’ he said.

Two applications for other areas of the St James’ site, including 107 homes to replace the former Harbour School and a 66-bed care home in the south of the site, are also awaiting decision.

Founder of campaign group Keep Milton Green, Kimberely Barratt, added: ‘With the three applications together you are looking at 403 new dwellings which is a huge intensification for Milton, which is potentially a 10 per cent increase in households.

‘We encourage people to make their voices heard about the development.’

Initial plans for the site had included up to 300 homes, however, this was changed following two public consultations last year.

PJ Livesey director, James Woodmansee, said: ‘The engagement we had with the local community was very important and has helped shape these proposals.

‘We believe this can be an outstanding development: beautiful listed buildings converted for living, new build homes of high quality, new play spaces and communal and private gardens all within a protected and enhanced parkland setting.’

A decision on all three applications for the site will be made at future planning committee meetings.