Portsmouth Royal British Legion building will be demolished for new flats

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Two months after delaying a decision on the demolition of the disused Royal British Legion building in Cosham in a bid to secure affordable housing on the site, councillors have granted planning permission, despite negotiations failing.

Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee was told on Wednesday (May 31) that the Lawish One Ltd development of the Sixth Avenue site was not profitable enough to warrant any contribution and that any demand could scupper work.

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What the development would look likeWhat the development would look like
What the development would look like

However, a report published by the council last week showed the development was expected to make a profit of £520,000, or about 12 per cent after costs, below the 20 per cent threshold at which affordable housing contributions are expected.

The developer had made a £25,000 offer for off-site provision but this was later withdrawn.

Planning agent Darryl Howells, representing the company at the committee meeting, said £300,000 would still be paid in Community Infrastructure Levy payments to fund projects in the area.

‘It’s still policy-compliant,’ he said. ‘There’s no justifiable reason why planning permission can’t be granted.’

The committee voted unanimously to approve the scheme.