More funds needed to continue landmark Portsmouth regeneration project

Published: December 4 2023

At the tail end of last year, a meeting of Portsmouth City Council delved into the challenges affecting the Tipner West development, such as the construction of sea defences, financial viability and environmental regulations, all of which are hindering the project’s progress.

If given the green light, the scheme could provide a between 814 and 1,250 homes alongside at least 58,000sqm of marine-focussed employment space.

There are two land use options currently under consideration, with both options differing in their approach to safeguarding the site, which boasts various environmental and ecological protections. Option B, involving construction on protected sites, presents a viability gap that is only half of that in Option A. A previous cabinet report indicated that the lowest funding gap among the options is estimated to be around £50m.

The Council’s chief executive will continue to engage with central government to explore further funding opportunities to close these viability gaps.

Due to the project’s anticipated harm to SPA/Ramsar sites, the Council will have to carry out a process of derogation. This would ensure that the harm caused to the sites is “fully compensated for”. The Council will need to demonstrate that the compensation will fully offset the damage caused to the sites and “provided prior to any impact taking place”.

The final decision on whether to proceed with the project remains outstanding.