Portsmouth City Council has submitted planning applications for the Somers Orchard project this week.

The council has submitted two plans, which together form a ‘masterplan’ for the redevelopment of the former Horatia and Leamington tower block sites in Somerstown.

Next steps are for the planning authority to review the plans, which the council expects to happen in Spring 2024.

In the meantime, the council will send letters to people living closest to the proposed development sites over the next month. This is to make sure the local community know what’s happening with the Somers Orchard project, and also to give people a chance to tell the planning authority their feedback.

What are the plans?

Developed with the Karakusevic Carson Architects design team, the council’s plans aim to bring 566 new homes and a variety of green spaces into Somerstown.

Specifically, they’ll replace three sites:

  1. The former Horatia and Leamington House towers which the council took down in 2022.
  2. The Melbourne Place car park site.
  3. The Gibson Centre site (the old Brook Club on Sackville Street).

They’ll also look to provide wider neighbourhood improvements to the Somerstown area.

Locals chose the Somers Orchard for the project, which focuses on sustainability, community safety, and open green spaces that encourage socialising.

As the project moves towards its next stage, Cllr Darren Sanders, cabinet member for housing and tackling homelessness, is pleased with its progress:

“The submission of these planning applications is a crucial milestone in bringing the Somers Orchard vision to life.

We’ve listened to the Somerstown community since the beginning – what was important to them, what they wanted to see, what they definitely didn’t want to see – and we’re confident these plans deliver what people want and need.

Like most of the Somerstown community, I look forward to seeing how this project progresses in 2024.”

For more information on the planning application or to track its progress, please contact Tim Raw:

Email: tim.raw@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Tel: 079 0110 0537

The Somers Orchard planning applications will be made publicly available on the council’s website this week.

We’ll update this page with info on how to view the applications as soon as they’re live.