A NEW park and ride scheme for Portsmouth has been given the green light.
City councillors voted to approve plans for a 663-space park and ride facility at Tipner east of the M275.
The scheme will transform seven acres of council-owned derelict land off Tipner Lane.
The car park will be linked to a proposed new motorway junction – called Tipner Interchange – which was given planning permission two years ago.
A dedicated bus route is set to link the car park to the heart of the city.
The park and ride is one of the key elements of a £130m project to regenerate Tipner, with plans for 1,600 new homes, business space to support 1,500 new jobs, and a hotel. A planning meeting at the Guildhall yesterday heard that Portsmouth was putting on more and more large-scale events and a park and ride facility was vital.
But there was a word of caution from Tipner resident Phil Coombe, of Range Green.
He was concerned about noise and the car park being used by teenagers on motorbikes.
Mr Coombe told the committee: ‘We want a high-quality scheme.
‘Unfortunately this city has a habit of doing this very badly.
‘It sounds like a good idea, but will they do it properly?’
He questioned whether it would be viable as the existing facility at Lakeside, Northarbour is not always well-used.
Planning officers said the development would have a negligible impact on residents.
Cllr Lee Hunt, committee chairman, said: ‘This is a very important application.
‘The city seeks to be a very important European city.
‘Thousands of people come to our city.
‘If we are to move forward then we require park and ride. It’s a sea change in the way people come into the city.’
He added: ‘The current location for park and ride does not work very well. Putting it right off the M275, it’s going to work.’
The plan includes a single-storey passenger waiting facility.
Subject to funding, work on the new motorway junction starts in January. It would be between 12 months and 15 months after this that work would start on the car park.