Developers are being sought to transform a derelict site in Portsmouth that will create 1,500 jobs and see the building of up to 1,600 new homes.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has announced it is seeking a development partner to build and market the first 80 new and affordable homes at its site in Tipner. Work by Portsmouth City Council includes the creation of a new motorway interchange and park-and-ride facility.
The site has undergone an extensive clean-up over the last year, which has seen the HCA invest around £3 million in preparing it for residential development.
This work has been carried out by specialist construction company the Tamdown Group, who have worked closely with local residents to keep them informed about progress on the site over the last year.
Kevin Bourner, HCA head of area, said: “This first phase of development marks an incredibly important step for a project which stands to make a hugely positive contribution to the local community and wider economy over the long-term.
“It will set the standard and tone of the rest of the development and demonstrates to those who have backed the project for so long that progress is being made. This is a complex project, which has required a great deal of work to get to this stage.
“I am confident that prospective partners will see what a fantastic opportunity this represents to be part of an exciting scheme that has the potential to regenerate the area for future generations.”
Kathy Wadsworth, director of regeneration at Portsmouth City Council, added: “Tipner will be an important new residential and employment area at the gateway to the city, with major new transport infrastructure and waterside developments.
“It is a major part of our plan to bring £1 billion worth of investment into the city. The new motorway junction will enable more development in the area, and the park-and-ride will cater for visitors to our new-look city centre, which is being planned now.”
The announcement comes after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the site and showed his support for the project in an attempt to prevent planning levy for local infrastructure being double-charged and cut red tape.
David Cameron said: “Already the changes we are making to the planning system are having an impact, with Land Securities giving the go-ahead to a major multi-million pound investment, supporting thousands of jobs in our construction industry.”
The scheme is designed by Lynch Architects and it comprises of two new buildings: The Zig Zag Building, a 190,000 sq ft office building over 14 floors with a staggered façade; and Kings Gate, a 12 storey residential building comprising 100 apartments.
Both buildings will provide a new and enhanced retail space with 45,000 sq ft of space, together with considerable improvements to the public realm benefitting the wider Victoria area. The buildings are planned to complete in summer 2015.
Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities said: “It is heartening to know that the Government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process.
“It enables us to progress with developing the former Kingsgate House site and continue to transform Victoria into a distinct and vibrant West End hub where people choose to live, work and visit.
“Our experience with our current developments demonstrates that Victoria is proving attractive to potential occupiers. This project will further add to its appeal.”
The scheme will also provide an affordable housing contribution of £11.6 million which will be directed towards the provision of affordable development in the Westminster area.