Plans revealed for 22-storey block of council homes in Portsmouth
A NEW 22-storey block of council homes could dominate the city skyline if plans go ahead.
Portsmouth City Council is looking to invest in 76 rental flats on the site of the Shopmobility store on the corner of Station Road and Lower Church Path in the city centre.
Provided by the council's development company Ravelin, it is hoped the homes will help tackle the city's housing shortage. The block will cost about £12m to build.
Council leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'We're building the homes the people of Portsmouth need at prices they can afford.
'This is not a student accommodation block.
'There's a massive shortage of housing in this city and we've always said that one of our top priorities is to do everything we can to make that situation better. We want to deliver as many affordable homes as possible.
'We must increase the number of homes in the city for the people who live and work here and we must make sure that there is a varied mix of different kinds of homes to meet the varied needs of everybody.'
Horatia House and Leamington House, the two towers that will be taken down this year, both have 18 storeys while the Greetham Street university halls – the so-called ‘Minion building’ – is 24 storeys high.
Members of the public can find out more about the plans during a drop-in session at the civic offices in Guildhall Square on January 22.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson added: 'We'd really like to see as many people as possible at this public open drop-in session because we're keen to share these plans with residents, businesses and other stakeholders and to hear your thoughts on these proposals.'
If plans are approved at a later date the homes will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom flats and the ground floor will include commercial space. It is thought work will begin at the end of this year for completion in 2022.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said all the flats would have balconies and that he first saw plans for them about six weeks ago.
He added: 'There is a desperate to build flats that families can afford.
'We could have built them as private rented accommodation just to make money but we have got 2,300 families on the housing waiting list who simply wouldn't have been able to afford this.'
Plans for other new council homes include 23 flats in King Street, Southsea, 17 flats in the vacant Brewery House in Hambrook Street, Southsea, and 16 homes in Doyle Avenue, Hilsea.
The drop in session will take place in meeting room five in the civic offices on Wednesday, January 22 from 4pm to 9pm.