Plans for new 20-storey residential block in Portsmouth come under fire for lack of affordable homes

A NEW 20-storey tower block could be built in the centre of Portsmouth, but objections have been raised over the complete lack of affordable homes.

By Fiona Callingham
Saturday, 27th June 2020, 9:17 am
Updated Saturday, 27th June 2020, 9:22 am
How the new blocks in Slindon Street, Portsmouth could look. Picture: Slindon Street Portsmouth Ltd
How the new blocks in Slindon Street, Portsmouth could look. Picture: Slindon Street Portsmouth Ltd

Outline plans have been submitted to demolish the disused depot of the former Post Office in Slindon Street in Landport to make way for two residential blocks including 210 flats.

The development will include a 13-storey and a 20-storey block, space for three cars to park, bike storage on the ground floor and a communal courtyard.

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In a statement by HGP Architects, submitted on behalf of the applicant Slindon Street Portsmouth Ltd, it said: 'Here our neighbours are bringing to Portsmouth shiny new contemporary buildings which further emphasise the need to consider the tired Royal Mail sorting depot for redevelopment.

'It is our aspiration to change the perception of this site, bringing forward a modern, well detailed piece of residential architecture to enrich this area.'

Developers are usually expected to produce 30 per cent of a site's homes to rent or buy at an affordable rate if it is financially viable.

However, in a viability assessment carried out by South Coast Surveyors it said: 'The only way of bringing the scheme forward is to reduce the onsite affordable housing contribution to nil.'

City councillor and housing activist Cal Corkery believed this wasn't good enough.

He said: 'In this case the developer is pleading poverty and claiming they will not make enough millions in profit if made to adhere to this.

'We are in the midst of a housing crisis with hundreds homeless in Portsmouth alone, and many more sofa surfing, dangerously overcrowded or in unsuitable housing. The only way that is going to be addressed is through the provision of new social housing.

'That means holding developers to account and not letting them sidestep their legal obligations.'

Southsea resident Rosemary Storkey also objected due to the lack of social or affordable homes. 'This omission appears to be completely deliberate and presumably is to try to put profit before people's wellbeing,' she said.

It comes after plans for a 22-storey residential block nearby in Station Street were revealed by the council.

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