Back in Febuary 2019 proposals were presented to Cabinet recommending the creation of a joint venture between Portsmouth City Council and property development firm Delancey. The land owned around the north of the city centre by both the city council and Delancey would be transferred into a joint venture. Cllr Smyth and Cal Corkery both challenged these propasals making the case that consultation with the public and other councillors has so far been lacking, the proposals failed to provide any firm guarantees around affordable housing, and alternatives such as a council led scheme hadn’t been properly explored.
This week we learned the joint venture between the city council and development firm Delancey had collapsed. Cllr Corkery said: “I have just found out the public-private partnership between the council and developer Delancey has collapsed leaving us back at square one with the regeneration of the former Tricorn site. The name Delancey may seem familiar as it is the exact same company behind the so called ‘Northern Quarter’ regeneration project that never was”.
Cllr Corkery added: “We raised concerns about Delancey’s track record back in February 2019 when the joint venture was proposed and the administration waived away our concerns asserting this time it would be different. When we again raised concerns in February 2020 about the lack of any progress we were assured by the Lib Dem Leader of the Council that lots of work was taking place behind the scenes.”
Kirsty Mellor Labours Charles Dickens candidate who met with Cllr Corkery to walk round the site this week added: “This is a part of the city that desperately needs new investment and jobs but we’re being failed by a council leadership yet again who are unable or unwilling to deliver. Lots has been made about the proposed re-use of the former Debenhams and John Lewis sites in Southsea, one of the wealthiest part of the city, but isn’t it about time that same kind of focus and energy was applied to the city centre and the deprived council estates that encircle it? We have already seen the closure of Sainsbury’s supermarket adjacent to this site in January it’s now time a proper plan was put in place.”
Cal added: “One major outstanding question is just how much taxpayer cash has been wasted on this particular failed initiative? We’ll be doing our best to find out ASAP and ensure the politicians responsible are properly held to account.”