In response to widespread concerns among local residents about the plans for Tipner West, the Labour Group is proposing a motion to the next Full Council meeting calling for a rethink of the project.
Increasing numbers of local people are raising concerns about the Liberal Democrat administration’s plans for Tipner. The council has already spent over £10m of taxpayer cash drawing up plans which would see the creation of a ‘super-peninsula’ through large scale land reclamation at Tipner West.
Organisations such as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are opposing the destruction of the intertidal mudflats that are legally protected as sites of scientific and environmental importance. Over 23,000 people have signed their petition calling for the proposals not to go ahead, but the council doesn’t seem to be listening.
Not only would the plans cause unacceptable damage to the local environment and wildlife, there are also questions on whether this is the kind of development our city needs. Despite most of the Tipner West site being publicly owned land, the current proposals include just 30% affordable housing meaning the majority of new properties on the site will be expensive luxury homes – out of reach for many local people.
The council has already spent £10.8m on the Tipner regeneration proposals and expects to incur another £7.5m getting it to the planning permission stage (figs. correct as of report to Cabinet in October 2020).
Even members of the Liberal Democrat Cabinet have expressed concerns about being able to secure permission for their current proposals but are still prepared to gamble £18.3m of public money on something that may well not go ahead.
Several important stakeholders including the HIWWT, the RSPB, The Portsmouth Society, heritage groups and others are against the current proposal and are asking for more extensive and effective consultation. We believe a wider community engagement remit should include exploration of alternative proposals and other options for developing the site.
The proposer of the motion to Full Council, Councillor Cal Corkery said:
“The Lib Dem administration seems intent to push through its preferred option for Tipner West without listening to local concerns about the impact on the environment, spiralling costs and insufficient social housing. It’s time to pause and rethink the project to ensure these issues are addressed and a better plan brought forward.”
The motion calling for a rethink of the Tipner West project will be discussed and debated at the Full Council meeting due to take place Monday 19th July.