A FOUR-STOREY building will replace a former shop after councillors approved designs they felt would improve a 'manky' Southsea Road.
At a planning committee meeting this week permission was granted for two new maisonettes on the site of disused store Easy Alarms and an attached maisonette on the corner of Highland Road and Clegg Road.
The homes will each cover two floors with one a one-bedroom dwelling and the other a two-bedroom property.
Councillors praised the design for making use of an empty building. Tory Councillor Donna Jones said: 'I think it adds significantly to the street scene.
'This addresses the significant housing shortfall we have in the city.'
Cllr Luke Stubbs agreed. 'Highland Road like many roads would have been full of shops at one time,' he said.
'We have been left with some shops and some poor quality conversions. Some of it looks quite scruffy.'
Cllr Claire Udy added: 'I am pretty much in 100 per cent agreement.
'I'm a fan of the look of the building, I think it's a good use because I used to live off Highland Road and further up it is just looking pretty manky.
'We need to do something about Highland Road, there is a great art gallery and tattoo place there and I think it should be minuted that it's a great little place.'
However, there were some reservations over the lack of on-site parking.
The council's transport boss Cllr Lynne Stagg said: 'I do have concerns about the parking provision. On one hand I am happy there isn't parking because we want to see the number of vehicles reduce but that is not going to happen so we will have people driving around looking for spaces and causing more air pollution.'
But the committee's chair pointed out that the site already had one maisonette and no parking had previously been provided.
Officers also confirmed that a ban on residents of the maisonettes owning cars could not be imposed.
Architect Mick Morris attended to explain his vision for the site. He said: 'I am not an architect who likes demolishing existing buildings but I think that introducing a new build will elevate the terrace a bit. You've got to imagine how it will look when going down the road. I think it will enhance the terrace rather than detract from it.
'I have inverted the ground floor so that if people are in the sitting room they can have a view.'