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Proposals for the future of Horatia House and Leamington House in Somerstown were approved this morning, Tuesday 26 February, at a special meeting of Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet.

A report recommending future options for the buildings was submitted last week for consideration, and this meeting reviewed and agreed the suggestions.

One of the options put forward is the deconstruction of the blocks (disassembling them panel by panel in the opposite order to that in which they were erected) and using the opportunity to redevelop the site to create more affordable and social housing.

The report also states the commitment of the Council's political administration that any future plans for the blocks must include at least 272 socially-rented homes, the same number as exist now. 

Now the authority will move forwards to work with residents and the wider community in Somerstown to make sure local people are fully involved and have a part in any future plans to shape the area.

Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Darren Sanders said:

"This is the right decision for the people of Somerstown and the city as a whole. Strengthening the blocks would cost too much and they would still not meet current building regulations. Selling them for student or other housing is wrong when people are crying out for homes they can afford. We want long-term housing solutions, not sticking plasters.  

"Our focus now will be to work with people in Somerstown to best understand their needs and aspirations for the area that they live in now, and the one in which they want to live in tomorrow."