Portsmouth Tory councillor defends bid to advertise land for use

Gosport MP welcomes plans on homelessness but admits ‘it’s a significant problem’

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A COUNCILLOR has again defended plans to advertise a hospital site for new homes.

As reported, Portsmouth City Council is looking to advertise land around St James’ Hospital to developers.

The Lib Dems have blasted the move, while the Tory cabinet has decided a decision will be made next month.

Tory cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, Cllr Luke Stubbs has reiterated it is ‘unrealistic’ to not expect any development.

‘Attempting to block all development across the site would be futile – using urban land for housing has been government policy for decades,’ he said.

‘I know that is not a popular thing to say but the cold, hard reality of the situation is that while the council can influence how the site will be developed, it cannot veto it.’

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of the council, said she is ‘in despair’ at her lack of options given the Lib Dems earmarked the area for development previously back in 2006. The Lib Dems have launched a petition against the proposals.