Over 1,500 Portsmouth locals came together to celebrate Halloween and have some frighteningly good fun at the Somerstown Spooktacular earlier this month.

Portsmouth City Council hosted the free event at The Gibson Centre in Somerstown on 12 October. It was a free event which featured live music, food, games and more.

Spooky-themed fun aside, people attending the event also saw and gave feedback on the latest designs for Somers Orchard before the council submits them for approval.

These designs included a physical 3D model showing what the former site of the Horatia and Leamington towers would look like after being developed into new homes and green spaces.

People loved the Somerstown Spooktacular, with families turning up in fancy dress to enjoy the stalls, games and free ice-creams.

What’s more, 520 people filled in feedback forms to have their say on the plans. The council will now collate this feedback and present it back to the design team.

Cllr Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing and tackling homelessness at the council, said:

“What a great turnout! People gave us lots of positive feedback on the plans, as well as some considerations which will help in these last stages of design.

I’m glad people had a lovely evening, and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress towards new homes in Somerstown.”

Want to see more? Check out these photos from the event:

Two children dressed as witches, posing for the camera

A child in sat looking at her glitter face paint in a small mirror

A group of children writing on paper

A group of people standing around a table with a model of Somerstown, Portsmouth

A person and child wearing bat wings on their heads, posing for a picture

A group of children in a crowd

What is the Somers Orchard project?

Somers Orchard is the project name for new homes and green spaces, planning to be built in Somerstown.

Following the taking down of the Horatia and Leamington towers in 2022, the project is currently in its final design stage.

The council took down the towers due to cladding issues. But it also gave an opportunity to have newer, better homes built in their place.

With local people at the heart of the project, the council has involved them every step of the way. The Somerstown Spooktacular was one of a few events put on to listen to people’s feedback.

Want to know more?

You can find more information about the project here.