It’s one of the most debated and often most controversial issues which affects the people of Portsmouth – the amount of student accomodation in the city.
Earlier this week designs for an 11-storey block with more than 160 flats were submitted in a planning bid, along with a 21-bed student halls next door.
As part of the plans, submitted by PVD1 Ltd, buildings on Middle Street in Somers Town, including the former All About Tea factory, would be demolished.
The site could also potentially have two commercial units and a cafe or offices.
Understandably the planning application has caused a fair bit of debate among our readers, with comments including the amount of existing student accommodation in the city, the need to provide affordable homes and the city’s rough sleepers.
Here’s what our readers had to say on our Facebook page:
’No more student housing’
One of the biggest topics for debate has been the amount of student housing in the city, and how it affects those who might be on the council’s housing waiting list.
Debby Couzens said: ‘What about all young people in the city that are homeless, there is enough accommodation for students and there is not a dispute on them bringing money to the city. But families need homes as we are the most populated city in Europe and no new homes for residents.’
Emma Townsend added: ‘No more student housing, Portsmouth City Council get a grip and if building do it for those on waiting list.’
But Jonathan Pink pointed out: ‘Student accommodation is privately built / financed. It has NOTHING to do with council housing and new properties.’
Andrew Taw added: ‘There is no student vs council housing fight. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
‘Student housing pays for itself, council housing is subsidised. If you want more council houses petition the council or the government to raise taxes to build more houses.’
‘Looks very overpowering’
While it is largely accepted that more homes need to be built in Portsmouth, there were also worries about possible over development of the city.
Marilyn Davis said: ‘Looks very overpowering, Portsmouth is becoming featureless with just square blocks of flats,this block reminds me of the 70s for some reason.’
Steph Bagnall said that she thought the priority should be more shops in the city.
She said: ‘There are none in Commercial Road, have to go Havant and Southampton nowadays. Even students need a better selection of shops to bring more money into the city.’
‘Need more flats to home the homeless’
Other people argued that more new housing needs to be provided to help the city’s homeless.
Charlotte Miller said: ‘How about we stop building housing for students and start building housing for our homeless people.’
Char Russell added: ‘Students can rent a room, plenty around. Need more one and two-bed flats to home the homeless who can then get their life back on track and parents don't need there kids who are now adults still living with them so they can be more independent.’
But Abdul Kahior said: ‘This month, Portsmouth City Council are launching a £1 million project to buy new properties to house Portsmouth’s homeless community. That’s a massive improvement in our city, they are slowly working on it, so don’t think they are neglecting us or the homeless. Let’s just be patient!’
What do you think? Join the daily debate on our Facebook page.