WORK to deconstruct Leamington and Horatia Houses will start this spring, Portsmouth City Council has confirmed.
The work to take down the blocks panel by panel – due to take about a year – comes as the council has delivered 1,500 information packs to the people living closest to the Somerstown tower blocks.
The 12-page full colour pamphlet accompanies an online video aimed at bringing everybody in the local community up-to-date with the latest news on the deconstruction of the buildings and potential redevelopment of the site and surrounding area. You can watch the video below.
If you’d like a copy of the information pack; contact details are included below along with a full timeline of events up to now.
In line with the council’s commitment to put local people at the heart of what replaces the tower blocks, it is asking local residents, former residents of the blocks, schools, charities and businesses to join the Horatia and Leamington Community Panel.
“The panel will be at the centre of the decision making process all the way through this project,” Cllr Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing and preventing homelessness, said.
“We’re at the stage where we’re developing proposals to provide new homes when the towers go. Local people have already given us the principles on which we will proceed. Now we want them to shape what actually comes about.
“The group will be made up of interested local people and groups and will be the first port of call as we start to develop plans. Please get in touch with us to get involved.”
The information pack the council distributed this week explains that the panel will meet online at first until Government Covid-19 guidelines mean it’s safe and responsible to meet in person.
It also outlines the design principles the council will work with moving forward as well as everything council-appointed public housing design specialists Karakusevic Carson Architects have learned about the site and the surrounding area in their early analysis.
The pack explains that the main objectives will be to provide new high quality homes, a green, sustainable neighbourhood and local community benefits.
It includes a plan of the current site and illustrations of two potential approaches to scenarios for future development. It also includes full explanations about the council’s aim to create an integrated, active and safe neighbourhood, as well as healthy, green streets and public spaces and a development with a sense of character and identity that improves on what exists and feels like Somerstown.
“When it comes to joining the community panel; we will do what we can to support people who want to be involved but need help attending online,” Cllr Sanders explained.
“At the first meeting the group will discuss how members will be involved in the project from beginning to end. We’ll also go through the contents of the information pack and give people the opportunity to ask questions of the project team and architects.”
To join the Horatia and Leamington Community Panel call the council’s development delivery manager Mary Devaney on 023 9284 1791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Also contact Mary if you would like a copy of the information pack.
To find out more about any of this go to www.horatialeamington.portsmouth.co.uk