Plans for five new flats in former Southsea hotel

A FORMER Southsea hotel could be converted into five new flats to 'bring out its potential' after two years of delays.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 4:45 pm

Plans to transform 17 Merton Road into three two-bedroom flats, one three-bedroom and one-bedroom flat are set to be decided next week.

Run as the Riven Hall Hotel in the 1970s, the house is currently being used by one family, with the landlord claiming there is an 'oversupply' of homes in multiple occupancy (HMOs) in the area. It is currently registered as a shared home and flat.

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17 Merton Road in Southsea that could be converted into five flats Picture: Google Maps

The site's owner, Jessica Wu, said: ‘17 Merton Road has 10 bedrooms and three formal communal rooms, it has been too big for a single family, converting to smaller and more affordable flats will bring more benefits for the sociality.’

She also hoped proposals could proceed following years of setbacks.

'17 Merton Road's application journey started in 2018, with the delays of changes to floor plans and number of flats, my application was finally ready to go through the committee meeting in May 2019,' she added.

'However, in March 2019 I was told my case has been postponed because the EU government has a new (nitrates) plan in the majority of the city.

'Then Portsmouth council informed me my file has been re-opened in February 2020 and it would go through the committee meeting in April 2020.

'However, with the Covid-19 and lockdown situation, my application has been delayed again, and hopefully, it will go through the committee meeting smoothly this time.'

It comes as Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt has demanded a meeting with Portsmouth City Council over a large backlog of planning applications that began when building in the city was halted over nitrate pollution, and then by the coronavirus pandemic.

If plans are approved, it is proposed the home's existing side and rear extensions will be demolished to make way for a new single-storey extension at the back and a new porch.

The front wall of the property will be re-built and a replacement tree provided for a Sycamore that was previously removed.

And 10 cycle spaces will be provided, and residents will have access to on-street parking.

A decision on the plans will be made by the council's planning committee at a virtual meeting on Tuesday, April 27.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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