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A celebration by schoolchildren and a visit from Lord Mayor of Portsmouth marked the completion of 17 new homes by the council in the north of the city in a £4.4m investment. A link to a video of the occasion is below.

The houses and flats in Doyle Avenue are the most energy-efficient to have been built by the council and include three houses designed for people with disabilities.

Lord Mayor, Frank Jonas, said: “It’s really special that we’ve watched this grow from a disused empty space into this brilliant complex of council houses. The people who are moving into them are in for a lovely surprise.”

They have been built by contractor PMC Construction and Development Services, featuring all-electric energy sources to heat and power the Hilsea homes as cheaply and energy-efficiently as possible.

Children from the Kings Academy in Northern Parade helped with the celebrations, providing steel pan music; and social enterprise MAKE, which supports adults with learning disabilities, worked with the pupils on making decorations for the new homes.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness, Cllr Darren Sanders, said: “We’re determined to provide new council homes which Portsmouth residents need to the highest standard possible, and Doyle Avenue is a demonstration of how we are doing this even through the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By completing 17 new homes which will be let at affordable rents, are extremely energy-efficient and take into account the needs of disabled residents we have achieved exactly what the city demands from its council, with hundreds more in the pipeline at other sites.

“I’m grateful to PMC for their outstanding work in completing this contract in the way they have, and it’s heartening that we have been able to make this investment using a Portsmouth company through such a difficult time for many businesses.”

You can watch a video of the occasion at: Doyle Avenue completion ceremony.