Tag Archives: McCarthy and Stone

Savoy Buildings Site – An Email To Portsmouth City Council Planning Department

Consultation for the Savoy Building site is currently underway and will be drawing to a close soon. I strongly urge you to write to the planning department to voice your concerns about this proposed site.

The proposed building Savoy Buildings site development. This image copyright McCarthy and Stone.
The proposed building Savoy Buildings site development. This image copyright McCarthy and Stone.

The email to write to is: planningreps@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Please put the planning application reference in the subject line as follows:

Application Reference: 14/00790/FUL Site Of Savoy Buildings & Savoy Court

Here is my email to the planning department.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to object to the planned McCarthy and Stone building on the site of the old Savoy Courts building, for the following reasons:

1) Despite McCarthy and Stone’s assurances that the building is “in keeping” with others along the seafront, it is vastly at odds with the design of the buildings around it. It is a large, square, brutal structure that will dominate that part of the seafront and does not reference any of the vernacular around it, this¬†despite McCarthy and Stone’s assertions to the contrary.

2) In their public consultation, McCarthy and Stone claim to have been sensitive to the original line of the building and the “curve” of the boundaries. This is untrue. The original building was set back by three metres or so from the boundary of the property. It had a gathering area and large set of steps up to the building. The effect of the building being pushed forward to the boundary is to oppress and dominate that part of the seafront.

3) This part of the seafront requires special attention and deserves better architecture since it is central to tourism in the area. Pretty architecture and the general lived experience of the streets is one of the things that draws people to Southsea.

It is vital that you make this site look right. Southsea has an attractive and nearly intact Victorian / Edwardian seafront, with a few jarring exceptions. Maintaining that aesthetic will serve Southsea better in the long run.

4) The number of parking spaces have been worked out as per “the average” for a building of this type, according to Councillor Will Purvis when he spoke at the Public Consultation about this.

However, this is not an “average” location. On a hot summer’s day, the elderly residents will be visited by numerous family members keen to spend a family day on the beach and hoping to avail themselves of the free parking the site may offer. Expect overspill on the surrounding streets.

5) I have set up the following petition on 38 degrees as evidence of local feeling against the current plans.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/the-mccarthy-and-stone-proposal-for-the-savoy-buildings-is-bad-for-southsea-seafront

For the sake of balance, I also set up a petition approving it, here:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/the-mccarthy-and-stone-proposal-for-the-savoy-buildings-will-enhance-southsea-seafront

You will see that there is a vast difference in number between those in favour and those not. I set up both petitions at the same time, and advertised them equally, allowing them to then spread by word of mouth.

Local feeling is very strongly against this development as it stands. Please help to protect Portsmouth from a dreadful mistake.

Thank you,

Matthew Wingett