Retirement flats to be built on former Hampshire car sales site in Drayton after Portsmouth City Council loses planning appeal

Government-appointed planning inspector Stephen Wilkinson issued the decision this week, saying that because the council was behind on its house building – and because it had identified the Hampshire Car Sales land at Havant Road for housing in 2006 – it was acceptable.

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“I place significant importance on the provision of additional housing and specialist housing, particularly given the council’s 3.8-year-old housing land supply position [below the target of five years]’, his report reads.

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Churchill Retirement Living has won a planning appeal and been granted planning permission to build 54 self-contained retirement apartments on the former Hampshire Car Sales site in Havant Road, Drayton

“I also attach great importance to the redevelopment of an existing site which is located relatively close to shops and services.

He rejected the argument that the scheme would result in the loss of employment land because the concessionaire had already obtained land to move to.

Submitted by Churchill Retirement Living, the application proposed 54 age-restricted apartments over four floors.

The scheme has drawn significant opposition, including from Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who said the retirement flats were “harmful” both to their occupants and to the wider community.

‘Havant Road already has a number of such retirement developments clustered in one area and I believe poor strategic planning by the local authority has allowed this to happen,’ she said . “The result is a number of poorly designed retirement properties that do not provide the individual who purchases them with the quality of life they should expect in old age.”

She said these developments were “not fit for purpose” as they “exacerbate” issues of isolation and loneliness and “constrain” key services.

The planning application was rejected by council in December and was immediately appealed by the developer.

He had welcomed the decision to allow his appeal, saying the project would “bring a thriving new community” to the area and estimated it would free up more than 100 homes in the town.

Stuart Goodwill, managing director of planning consultancy Churchill, said construction would be “as soon as possible”.

“Retirement housing is the most effective form of residential development for generating local economic growth, supporting local jobs and increasing shopping street spending,” he said. “The new apartments will also help improve the health and well-being of those who live there and meet the housing needs of many older people in and around Drayton.”