We were thrilled that many of you could join us, at the beginning of March, for our webinar, A New Vision for Portsmouth, with:
Cllr Steve Pitt, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Economic Development, Portsmouth City Council
Natascha McIntyre Hall, Assistant Director of Strategic Developments, Portsmouth City Council
Jerry Clarke, Senior Project Manager, Portsmouth International Port
Cllr Pitt announced that the regeneration project to create a car-free sustainable community on reclaimed land, known as Tipner West, is to be rechristened as Lennox Point. The name was chosen after public consultation; Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, having been responsible for the fortification and protection of the south coast and pioneered the earliest version of the Ordnance Survey.
Natascha discussed the ambition for Lennox Point to be an award-winning scheme that fundamentally changes the way that people live, by focusing on how people connect as humans, rather than through their cars. Indeed, the aim is to capture the way of life at Lennox Point by measuring rates of loneliness, GP visits, participation in education and qualifications to name just a few.
Sustainability was a key theme throughout the webinar. Jerry described the ruling by the London Coroner that air pollution contributed towards the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah as “a turning point”. Indeed, he stated that improving air quality was an immediate primary objective for the port. The fact that the port is Council-owned (and therefore owned by the people) means that its focus and priorities are more aligned with the local community than with any other commercial port. Currently, air quality sensors are being used around the port to understand how delaying ships docking in the port at peak pollution times can help to minimise pollution spikes at certain times of the day.
Both Cllr Pitt and Jerry were jubilant about the creation of a Solent Freeport, with the prospect of retaining the benefits of growth locally and creating “amazing manufacturing areas” as part of the port, which enrich the whole area. Furthermore, Cllr Pitt talked passionately about utilising £7 million from the Future High Streets Fund to regenerate two key areas and prove that high streets no longer need to rely on retail. Instead, they should be focal points of the community where people enjoy being, with independent businesses at the forefront.
As demonstrated, Portsmouth has so much happening. If you’re interested in Portsmouth, get in touch with Marlies Koutstaal