Public asked for views on plan to overhaul Portsmouth's Victoria Park

PLANS to overhaul a popular park are set to be put to the public in a consultation.

Thursday, 29th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:18 pm
The aviary in Victoria Park, Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council wants to demolish the aviary in Victoria Park and replace it with a bandstand, refurbish the Arts Lodge and open up the central area more.

Under the plans a petting zoo will be brought in.

Council leader Donna Jones said: ‘Improvements to the city’s much-loved Victoria Park are long overdue and I’d like residents to tell us what they think of the suggestions in the action plan.

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‘The birds and animals are staying, but we’d like to know whether it’s a good idea to look at a new home within the park and the possibility of a petting zoo.

‘The Lodge is also remaining as an arts venue, but we’d also like to include facilities for adults with learning disabilities.

‘I’m really excited by our ambitious plans to provide the best opportunities for adults with social care needs in the south.

‘We’re also considering unlimited access to the park and improving the pathways.

‘This is a really exciting time for the city centre’s most beautiful green space and I’d like to encourage as many people as possible to take part.’

Cllr Jones said the plan was never to get rid of the birds.

Councillor Ben Downing, Liberal Democrat, said his party has been running a survey since the summer and had 1,782 replies.

He said: ‘It’s really positive that the city council has decided to get on and do its consultation on this.

‘It’s a shame that the council didn’t decide to consult before putting together the action plan.

‘We as the Liberal Democrats have carried out our own consultation with over 1,500 responses and it’s still ongoing. We hope that the council is able to get a similar or higher response.’

He said their replies to their survey found 64 per cent of people said they visited the park because of the aviary.

And it found 97 per cent would rather have the aviary than a bandstand.

Full details of the consultation will be revealed on Monday when it launches. It will end on November 11.

To see the action plan, see Jones approved consultation at a meeting of planning, regeneration and economic development committee yesterday.