Plans for 27 new flats on Portsdown Hill dealt a blow amid road safety concerns

PLANS to build 27 new flats on Portsdown Hill have been dealt a blow as Portsmouth councillors refused access to the site amid road safety concerns.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 2:40 pm

Members of the city's planning committee voted to reject developers gaining admission to a site on North Road - which is a gated area off James Callaghan Drive.

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Plans revealed for 27 new flats on Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth

As reported, the application was made as part of a wider bid to demolish a disused research building to make way for a new three-storey structure, which would provide 18 two-bedroom flats and nine three-bedroom flats.

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The entrance to the area where a block of 27 flats could be built off James Callaghan Drive on Portsdown Hill. Picture: Google Maps

Permission for the demolition and new build, submitted by developers Heritage Property Southern, will need to be decided by Winchester City Council, which has jurisdiction over the land, at a later date.

Portsmouth councillors feared the addition of homes there could lead to increased casualties along James Callaghan Drive, which is a 40 mile per hour road.

Council transport boss and committee member, Councillor Lynne Stagg said: 'I have serious concerns about this.

'Since I can been a councillor James Callahan Drive has always been a problem. I don't care what officers say, there have been lots of problems.'

How the new homes off James Callaghan Drive could look. Picture: Concept Design & Planning

According to the Department for Transport there have been four fatalities along James Callaghan Drive since 2000 - including one at the junction of the proposed site - with three serious incidents and 19 slight incidents.

Cllr Lee Hunt added: 'I am siding with the highways authority. We have heard a lot of evidence already of one fatality at this junction and other serious accidents.'

Councillors discussed whether they could request a new pedestrian and cycle footpath was built along the road.

But Cllr Luke Stubbs said: 'This is something that effectively already has planning permission.

'I don't think it's reasonable or justifiable to insist on a cycle lane at an enormous cost.'

Six councillors voted to refuse access to the site, and three voted against refusal.

Concerns about contaminated land on the site were also raised but that is an issue to be considered by Winchester council.

The research building that could be demolished has been vacant since the mid-1990s.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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