Going into the 2021 local elections in Portsmouth, the Labour Party made a key election pledge to push for a rethink of the controversial Tipner West regeneration project which could see vast swathes of protected environmental areas destroyed and only minimal social housing delivered.

Although the Liberal Democrat administration failed to respond to our request to rethink the project during the post-election discussions, we have kept up the pressure on the issue by submitting a motion to the Full Council meeting which was due to take place on the 19th July.

But although the motion wasn’t heard, as the meeting was suspended, it attracted significant media and public interest. Off the back of this renewed scrutiny, the proposals for the draft Local Plan now include consideration of alternative options for the Tipner West site.

This is significant progress from when the Lib Dem’s preferred option of land reclamation, environmental destruction and minimal social housing was reported in Cabinet and to the public in Oct. 2020.

More than 24,000 people have signed the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ joint petition opposing the administration’s current plans for the area.

Portsmouth Labour is committed to supporting all those who’ve signed and ensuring their voice is heard loud and clear during the council’s decision making.

The next stage will be the publication of the draft Local Plan which will ask for Portsmouth people’s views on what kind of development, if any, should be allowed at Tipner. We are encouraging local people to respond to this consultation so their views are fully taken into account.

Councillor Cal Corkery, the Labour Group spokesperson for Housing said:

We recognise of course the severe housing crisis ravaging our city and the lack of housing options which have been delivered for local people in recent years. However, we also know that we’re in a Climate Emergency and the kind of environmental destruction planned at Tipner can’t be allowed. We want to see development at Tipner which increases the level of genuinely affordable social housing, as well as protecting the environment. It’s time to rethink the whole project and we’re glad to see the administration starting to listen to the views of local people“.

Councillor Judith Smyth, Labour spokesperson for Planning Policy and City Development added:

The project must be clearly linked to an overall vision for North West Portsea Island, particularly the Tipner East development, traffic management and parking before it will be fully understood by the existing Stamshaw communities. There is more real engagement and consultation to be done“.

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