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Portsmouth City Council

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In brief

Portsmouth is the UK’s only island city and with a history that stems from the Roman Conquests to Richard the 1st. Portsmouth takes it tough image from its history and tradition of being a major military port and staging ground to the continent.

Portsmouth City Council’s planning performance has been decimated by the effects of the Nitrate Embargo imposed by Natural England and the Covid-19 Pandemic. This has resulted in a substantive backlog with many applications now taking over a year to get through the planning system.

Portsmouth’s geography defines both the City, Development and its ability to respond to changing housing needs. Portsmouth is resorting to tall buildings in order to meet its housing demands within the City Centre and other Tall Buildings Zones that intersperse the rows of regimented terraces that mark the City’s expansion.

What to expect

Housing Delivery Test

Presumption Authority within the 2021 Housing Delivery Test.

Up-To-Date Local Plan

The Portsmouth Local Plan is a framework for delivering the aspirations and development needs of the city. The planning policy framework for Portsmouth is currently provided by:

The Portsmouth Plan (The Portsmouth Core Strategy) adopted in January 2012 and
Two Area Action Plans for Somerstown and North Southsea (2012) and Southsea Town Centre (2007).
This framework is supplemented by a number of saved policies from the Portsmouth City Local Plan (2006).

In 2022 the LPA advised that the Local Plan was considered out of date under para 11d of the NPPF due to lack of housing land supply and failure under the housing delivery test.

Customer Service

Customer service at Portsmouth tends to be inconsistent with different officers dealing with supporting applicants in very different ways. Current experience is either a good level of communication or none at all.

Portsmouth have a new Interim Head of Service and new Assistant Director and both of these officers are working to fix the issues at the City Council.

Decision Making Behaviour

Decision making behaviour is heavily influenced by the political class within the City Council with applicants having to resort to appeal for certain application types.

Pre-application is offered but the ability of the Council to provide this service is questioned at present as the Council does not have the officers to provide this service and maintain an effective planning service.

Article 4 Directions

The following Article 4 Directions are in force:

Citywide HMO Article 4 Direction

Development in some Conservation Areas

Nitrate Effected Areas

The Solent

Last Decision’s

  • 47 Milton Road, Portsmouth, PO3 6AN – Change of use from house (Class C3) to 7 Bedroom HMO (Sui-Generis)
  • 331 London Road Portsmouth – Class C4 HMO to Sui-Generis HMO
  • 125 laburnum Grove – House to large HMO
  • 4 North End Avenue – Construction of single-storey rear extension that comes out a maximum of 6m beyond the rear wall of the original house with a maximum height of 3.41m and a maximum height of 2.55m to the eaves.
  • Bedsit 1, 15 St Ursula Grove, Southsea, PO5 1LT – Construction of single storey rear extension

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