Relief as temporary road is installed on Tipner site - but residents’ fears remain

John Cass, chairman of the Tipner and Stamshaw Neighbourhood Forum
John Cass, chairman of the Tipner and Stamshaw Neighbourhood Forum
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FEARS that a Portsmouth site still hasn’t been developed have resurfaced after the installation of a long-awaited temporary road nearby.

Tipner residents were relieved when they won a three-year battle with Portsmouth City Council to build a road that diverts lorries away from Twyford Avenue, but are now questioning delays to build housing in the area.

The temporary road was opened a month ago and runs parallel to the M275 with the understanding that it will be used until the wider Tipner area is regenerated.

Twyford Avenue resident John Cass said: ‘It’s been a long running saga but we’ve managed to win the day.

‘We had to put up with so much pollution with the traffic going through Stamshaw. It has made such a big difference already. But the council could have done something for us over three years ago. Just imagine if it wasn’t opened.

‘The road is only due to be there until 2019. We would want the road to be permanent. It is in the interest of the council.’

Portsmouth City Council granted permission to build the road, but they did not pay for it. Instead Tipner west landowner, John Henry Pounds, footed the bill.

But Mr Cass believed the council should have done more. He added: ‘The council said they never had the money to pay for it. Yet they had nearly £50m gaining interest from the City Deal money. 

‘Is that money still available and when are they going to start working on redeveloping the land at Tipner?

‘It has been sitting there for over two years. Nobody’s pushed it since. People should be living in there now. We need affordable housing. Let’s hope that this road is also the start to getting the much needed housing development.’

Cllr Ben Dowling, head of regeneration at the council, said plans for regeneration in the area were under way. He said: ‘We are still moving forward with this. Homes England are involved and are currently looking at Tipner east. They are going out to market at the moment to find a developer to work with.

‘The next step will be working to develop Tipner West and Horsea Island.’

Former regeneration boss, Cllr Donna Jones, added: ‘The City Deal money will be used as originally planned, to redevelop Tipner west. But if it had just been developed as it was there was only room for about 2,000 homes. We can get a lot more on there.

‘We’re now at a point where Natural England and Environment Agency are happy for us to go forward with the regeneration. We will work on a full plan – the City Deal money is still there.’