Plans for houses on Portsmouth hospital site opposed by public

The bid for up to 480 homes at St James's Hospital has been criticised at a public meeting
The bid for up to 480 homes at St James's Hospital has been criticised at a public meeting

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MORE than 100 residents packed out a neighbourhood forum to oppose plans to build houses on a hospital site.

Residents living near St James’ Hospital, in Locksway Road, Milton, are against permission being given for up to 480 new homes.

The land is owned by NHS Property Services (NHSPS), which took questions on the plans from people at the Milton Neighbourhood Forum.

Retired Jeanne Kelly, 83, of Skylark Court, said: ‘I wrote to the council on behalf of residents here to say the houses are not welcome, but we’ve had no response.

‘For one I don’t want to see the trees taken down.

‘There’s also going to be a build-up of traffic on the main roads leading up to this area.’

Wayne Patterson, 29, of Lapwing Road, Milton, a metering manager, said: ‘Given the traffic around this area in the morning, and at 5pm is pretty bad, and there aren’t many schools and amenities close by, I don’t see how the extra homes will work.

‘Everyone around here is against it and it will cause so much traffic.

As reported, medical services run at St James’ Hospital by Solent NHS Trust will move to St Mary’s Community Health Campus.

In a report, the trust said it was using less than five per cent of the main hospital site, and so it is not cost-effective.

NHSPS said that the land was most likely to be sold to a housing developer as it would generate the most money.

Andrew Strange, head of planning and development for NHSPS, said: ‘There were about 150 people at the meeting and there was a lot of talk about the proposals.

‘We will be submitting planning applications for phase one, which is land where the Children’s Development Centre, is based, for 100 homes, in October.

‘The NHS wants to get the best price for the land, which is why we are seeking planning permission first, if housing developers are interested.

‘We don’t know who might want to build on the site and what, our decision will be to sell the site and get best value for it. Residents spoke about environmental and traffic problems, at the moment there are about 4,000 vehicles a day passing through when the site is open.’

A drop-in session is being held on Wednesday at St James’ Hospital, from 3pm to 7pm.