Portsmouth City Council hopes to ‘put people first’ by changing the way people travel. It plans to create a community that is ‘more visible’, thus ending social isolation. The project began as an approach to realising the government’s target for thousands of new homes and it is hoped the scheme will become a ‘beacon’ for elsewhere in the UK.
Like many cities in the UK, most of the areas in Portsmouth meet government criteria for air quality – but some don’t. As the second most densely populated city in the UK, Portsmouth is already tackling air pollution, 50% of which is estimated to be caused by cars. More electric vehicle charging points are being introduced and Portsmouth was the first city to use electricity provided by street lamp columns which make a pay-as-you-go charge.
A survey has taken place to investigate the impact of charging drivers of older, non-compliant vehicles that enter the city’s Portsea Island area. The council has proposed a daily charge of up to £20 for older buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles. No charge would be made to vehicles that are classed within European Emmissions Standards ‘Euro 4’ or newer for petrol vehicles, and diesel vehicles that are ‘Euro 6’ or newer.
Despite it’s air pollution problems, Portsmouth has been targeted by the government with building 18,000 new homes.
In response to the target, Portsmouth City Council is planning to build a car-free community on land that has been part-reclaimed. It is planned to reclaim 22 hectares of land to create a site totalling 140 acres and a new 2.2km waterfront at the disused Tipner West site. If approved, the work could commence by 2023.
The current planning application would see the removal of earth to form an underground ‘podium’ for storage and parking. Waste disposal and bins could be removed from the streets which would leave the 4,000 homes and school to enjoy completely pedestrian-friendly access.
A bridge will link Tipner West to Horsea Island where the development will include a one million sq ft marine employment campus with sustainable transport links between the two to be used by bicycles and buses.
The cost of the project is estimated to be in excess of £1 billion.
The plans were put to a group of developers, contractors and investors in September and was described as exciting and innovative. Those present praised the removal of cars from the streets, as well as the scale of the project.
A public consultation will take place in 2020.
If you’re buying property in Portsmouth or anywhere else in England and Wales, ask a Property Surveying Chartered Surveyor for a building survey.