Montage of submissions from the Somerstown self portraits project

WATCH a one minute video appealing for Somerstown self portraits to brighten up the site of the two tower blocks Portsmouth City Council is taking down.

The video, voiced by Somerstown school children Amelie Cooper and Nelly Raw, both 10, asks Somerstown people to send their self portraits to the council before Monday 7 June.

The council is going to use the self portraits by people living, or working, in Somerstown, to decorate the deconstruction site boundary hoardings at the site of Horatia House, in Meriden Road, and Leamington House, in Earlsdon Street.

“We want the local community to be at the heart of this project, right the way from these early deconstruction, and planning, stages through to the end of the development project, when we will deliver hundreds of new homes for Portsmouth people at prices Portsmouth people can afford,” said cabinet member for Housing and Homelessness Cllr Darren Sanders.

“Part of our commitment to the local community was to launch a community panel for the project which we did in March. The panel is the first port of call for all discussions about the deconstruction of the blocks and the redevelopment of the area. The group includes tenants, leaseholders, former residents of the blocks, head teachers, businesses and charity representatives. The panel has met twice already and we’ve had a great response to our call for people to become members. We’d still like even more local people to join the panel so please get in touch if you’d like to be involved.”

The council has announced that Portsmouth firm Hughes and Salvidge has been selected to take the towers down. The blocks will be deconstructed in a careful and controlled manner with the hoardings to be erected in the first week of June and all deconstruction works expected to be completed before the end of next summer.

Hughes and Salvidge business development manager Will Spong said: “Hughes and Salvidge is not only delighted to be awarded this project but is also excited at the prospect of working in a community of the city that is a stone’s throw from our head office.

“We have been based in Portsmouth since our formation in 1964 and many of our workforce live in the city.

“This is a project close to our hearts and we look forward to bringing our expertise and diligence to work alongside the council and in collaboration with the local community.

“Our dedication to this project and the community it sits in, we believe, will be the catalyst for an exciting future era for this area of Portsmouth.”


More about Hughes and Salvidge


  • The company was chosen after a competitive tender process.
  • This is local work for local people.
  • 90% of the work force lives locally.
  • Hughes and Salvidge headquarters are within one mile of the site.
  • All subcontractors used on this job will be local.
  • Hughes and Salvidge supports local charities – MUNCH Project, The Roberts Centre, Young Carers.
  • The company is also a sponsor of Portsmouth Football Club.


What times of the day will the contractors work?


  • There will be no work before 7.30am or after 6pm.
  • There will be no noisy work before 8am.
  • Weekend work will be restricted to between 8am and 1pm on Saturdays.


How long will it take?


  1. June 2021 – site boundary hoardings erected and site setup starts.
  2. Summer 2021 – scaffold erected on Horatia House and internal strip starts.
  3. Autumn 2021 – first Horatia House panels start to be brought down.
  4. Also autumn 2021 – Leamington House internal strip starts.
  5. Winter 2021 – scaffold erected on Leamington House.
  6. Spring 2022 – first Leamington House panels start to be brought down.
  7. Late summer 2022 – deconstruction of both blocks completed.


What is being done to reduce the environmental impact?


  • The target is to recycle more than 97% of the materials.
  • More than 100 lorry movements will be saved by crushing and reusing the material on site.
  • The whole fleet of vehicles will comply with Portsmouth’s Clean Air Zone requirements before autumn 2021.
  • Local transport companies will be used to minimise carbon emissions.
  • Pre-arranged delivery times will be set by the site manager to make sure there is not more than one delivery vehicle at the site at one time.
  • Large vehicle movements will be ordered for non-peak times to reduce disruption to local residents and the local traffic network.
  • All demolition vehicles will be parked on site and off public highways.
  • All pneumatic tools will be fitted with silencers or mufflers.
  • External activities on site will be dampened down before the job starts and dust will be suppressed throughout.
  • There will be wheel washing facilities and/or regular use of road sweepers at access points.


Will the deconstruction job affect parking in the local area?


To keep the community safe – the site boundary hoarding line will have to eliminate the ten stand-alone parking spaces in Earlsdon Street (see attached map).

These parking spaces will need to be vacated before the site boundary hoarding is erected in the first week of June 2021 (see project programme above).

The council takes its responsibility to keep people safe seriously and, because of this, a secure boundary to the site must be maintained which means that the hoarding will have to be in place for the whole duration of the project.

Learn more about the deconstruction process here.


Get in touch


Hughes and Salvidge has a dedicated residents hotline for the deconstruction project. If you have any questions please call Hughes and Salvidge’s Lewis Smith on 07387 411668 or email


More about the Somerstown Self Portrait Project


If you’d like your self portrait to be included on the hoardings then fill one side of plain, white, A4 paper with your drawing, painting or sketch and include your name and age on the same side of the paper. Take a photo of your self portrait and email it to or post it to: Tim Raw, Strategic Developments, Regeneration, Portsmouth City Council, PO1 2AL


To find out more about the Horatia and Leamington Houses deconstruction and redevelopment programmes watch a project info video at