Trafalgar Wharf site ‘may be contaminated’

The plan for Trafalgar Wharf
The plan for Trafalgar Wharf
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WARNINGS have been made that the site of a massive new housing and business development could be hugely contaminated.

Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee has agreed to make formal objections to the Trafalgar Wharf development on the former Vosper Thornycroft shipyard off Southampton Road on the Portsmouth and Portchester border.

It is expected to include a 12-storey block, up to 164 new homes, cafes and restaurants and 200,000sq ft of marine buildings for local businesses.

Although the development is on Portsmouth land, Fareham Borough Council was asked to make comments because of its location.

Committee chairman, Cllr Nick Walker, told how he was recently speaking to a member of the Pounds family, well-known scrap dealers in the Portsmouth area, and who used to have a shipbreakers yard on the site.

Cllr Walker said: ‘He told me: “Do they realise what we buried in there? It’s contaminated beyond belief – if you think Tipner’s bad, you should see what that will be like. It’s full of things that were stuffed in there from the Second World War onwards”.’

He added: ‘The greatest impact of this will be felt in Portchester not Portsmouth.

‘It’s their back door, but it’s our front door.

‘All these buildings, there’s nothing around this area that’s three or four storeys tall, let alone 12.

‘It seems like a massive overdevelopment. It’s ill conceived and wrong.’

Concerns were also raised about the impact on traffic along Southampton Road, and the inclusion of the 12-storey residential block.

But in a deputation, Christopher Daniel of developers Quadrant, said: ‘It will bring significant benefits to residents.’

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, Quadrant will contribute £3.1m towards new flood defences.

The committee agreed unanimously to send objections on behalf of the council to Portsmouth City Council.

The scheme is expected to go before Portsmouth’s planning committee in the new year.