Plans for four-storey student halls in Portsmouth to be decided next week

A FORMER pet hospital in Portsmouth city centre could be demolished to make way for a new four-storey block of student halls if plans are given the go ahead next week.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 8:26 pm
How the Middle Street development could look - the student homes are on the end. Picture: Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt

Outline proposals for 21 student homes on the site of the disused People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) centre in Middle Street, Somers Town, will be considered by members of Portsmouth's planning committee.

The plans come as part of a wider scheme from PV Developments for the road, with an 11-storey development of 163 flats also proposed to replace neighbouring buildings.

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CGI of the an eleven-storey block with 163 flats and 21-flat student block in Middle Street, Portsmouth. Picture: Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt Architects

Speaking about the student halls, Tom Vail, principal at PV Developments, said: 'This small student scheme is complementary to and part of the university quarter and its designated accommodation within the vicinity of the university campus.

'We believe dedicated student accommodation blocks provide part of the solution to freeing up local housing for regular residential occupiers.'

If approved the development would include storage for 36 bikes but no car parking spaces.

John Tarrant, who runs the neighbouring shop Sunrise Stained Glass that will be demolished if the 163 flats are approved, said this was a worry.

In a representation made about the application he said: 'We have concerns over the loss of seven or eight off-road parking spaces and not mitigated by 36 cycle spaces.'

However, Mr Vail added: 'Our team have operated student accommodation in the city for some years and in our opinion the car usage found amongst our students is minimal, the cost of owning cars now is considerable and a luxury which isn’t high on their wish list.

'This location is central to all the everyday living requirements and needs within a walking distance or cycle route. Not to mention the great local transport links.'

Further details of the plans will still need to be approved in the future but it is hoped work could start in about four months.

It is likely the developers will make use of Portsmouth City Council's nitrate credit bank system to allow them to build without risk of further water pollution.

The planning committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 18.

A date for a decision on the 163 flats has not been set yet.