Plans for a 'sustainable' £4.2m council house development to be submitted
WORK to build a 'sustainable' £4.2m council house development in the city could begin this year, despite a row over the involvement of residents.
Portsmouth City Council is due to submit its latest planning application for a mix of affordable houses and flats in Hilsea by the end of this month.
The development, on the site of a former health clinic on the corner of Northern Parade and Doyle Avenue, will include three four-bedroom disabled adapted houses, four three-bedroom houses and nine two-bedroom flats.
It will also have 24 parking spaces and be the Portsmouth council's 'most carbon neutral' housing development ever built.
Adrian Legg, property development project manager, said: 'This is basically about sustainability, all the homes will be powered by electricity only and will have solar panels on the roofs.'
The council's housing boss, Councillor Darren Sanders, added: 'This was a site that was derelict for years and we will use it to help address the housing needs of the city. It's a great opportunity.'
Hilsea residents were invited to attend an engagement event at the St Francis Church in Northern Parade today (January 9) to find out more and provide feedback before the designs are submitted.
However, ward councillors slammed the scheme's consultation process, which began with a leaflet drop to 200 nearby homes last year. An initial application was then submitted in November before the public consultation was due to take place.
On their request the application was withdrawn.
Cllr Donna Jones said: 'If they don't need consultation because they had already done it why are they spending time and money having these engagement events?
'They should have carried this out before a planning application was submitted.'
Her colleague Cllr Scott Payter-Harris agreed. 'The residents are the ones who lose out,' he said.
'They should've been involved a lot earlier than this.'
But Cllr Sanders said: 'We had consulted with residents before the application was made.
'We were told by residents that parking was an issue which is why plans have been amended to include more parking spaces.
'When it became clear that we could withdraw the application without delaying anything too much I was very happy with that.'
If plans are approved it is hoped work will start in July.