Plans revealed to 'reinvigorate' Cosham with new fire station and homes
A 'VITAL' area in the north of Portsmouth is set to undergo a regeneration with plans for a new fire station, updated library and additional housing.
Proposals to 'invigorate' Cosham have been revealed by the city council as part of wider ambitions to 'future-proof' it for years to come.
Under the scheme the council will buy the existing police and fire stations to be developed into homes and for community uses, while Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) will open a new station on the former Portsmouth Craft and Manufacturing Industries (PCMI) site on Northern Road.
And as planned, police officers will move to sites in Anchorage Park and Eastleigh, with the neighbourhood policing team remaining at Medina House in Cosham.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: 'The movement of Cosham fire station creates opportunity for investment on the current site of the station - which sits alongside other council-owned facilities in the area.
'It is our ambition to regenerate Cosham; to consult and engage with the public to ensure we are providing what is needed for the community; and to ultimately invest in our city and make Cosham a better place for everyone.'
It comes as other plans for Cosham, including improvements to Cosham Library and a new pavilion at King George V playing fields, have also been announced.
Ward councillor for Cosham, Lee Mason, welcomed the project.
'Cosham definitely is one of the main hubs of Portsmouth with strong community spirit,' he said.
'We have had small improvements made over the years but nothing major because it's just as important to block bad developments - such as when there were talks to knock the library down.
'It's about having plans that will future-proof the area.
'Housing is really needed in Cosham but it has to be good quality.'
SEE ALSO: Cosham Library closed for repairs
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt agreed but believed more was needed. She said: 'The secondary shopping centres in the north of the city are vital community hubs. I am pleased that at long last they are getting some attention, however redevelopment must be about more than more housing and a new library.'
A spokeswoman for HFRS explained existing Cosham fire station on Wayte Street that was built in 1952 was no longer 'fit for purpose' due to its limited area for training, parking and other operational requirements.
Chief fire officer, Neil Odin, added: 'Here (the PCMI site) we can not only provide better facilities for our people to work and train, but also build important relationships with other public-sector partners who will be invited to co-locate with us.
'Importantly, a new station will also include dedicated space for engagement with our local community.'
A spokesman for the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: 'Over the next few months, the estate change programme team are working to relocate the teams currently based at the police station into more modern and efficient locations, informed by and to meet Hampshire Constabulary operational requirements.
'Following this, the intention is to sell the police station, which will help to fund effective and efficient policing across our area.'
Plans will be considered at a cabinet meeting next week. Funds for the police and fire stations will come from the sale of the PCMI site, that is currently owned by the council.
It is expected the project will take up to five years.