THIS is the first glimpse of a proposed 10-storey student flats tower block set to replace a political party’s former club.
Architects have drawn up the plans for a development at Unity Hall in Coburg Street, Landport, the site of the old Labour Club.
Developer Brownsea Build Ltd hopes to demolish the club, which shut in 2012, to make way for the scheme.
Plans show 133 studio flats are proposed, with no car parking spaces but 60 spaces for bikes.
Cladding is set to be used on the two blocks – with architects saying fire safety is a ‘paramount’ consideration.
Labour MP for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan said: ‘I am concerned by the ever-increasing student accommodation proposed across our city centre. We have a housing crisis in our country and city.
‘Since 2010 housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level since the 1920s and rough sleeping has doubled in the last couple of years. What we desperately need is more social housing for local people.’
Drawings show two blocks, with the tower facing out to Holbrook Road. The other block is four and five storeys high.
It comes after Unite Students built a new tower block in Greetham Street and the former Zurich House building has been converted and extended to form new high-rise student accommodation.
A spokesman for Unity Hall developer, Brownsea Build, said: ‘The existing building has been in a sorry state for a number of years and the aim of this development is to enhance the area and provide a landmark building for this prominent site within the city.
‘Expert analysis shows Portsmouth currently only has purpose-built student accommodation for 35-40 per cent of the number of full-time students studying within the city and by building high quality purpose-built student accommodation, this frees up existing housing stock back to the general market for their original use as family homes.’
A PDP Architecture spokesman said: ‘Given this is an outline planning application, the detail and specification of the cladding has yet to be determined, however following the tragic events of Glenfell Tower, maximum consideration of fire safety is paramount.’
The University of Portsmouth is ‘aware’ of the application and will make a representation to the city council.