The Lord Palmerston Proposal for a Roof Terrace.

For the second time this year J D Wetherspoon’s pub The Lord Palmerston in Palmerston Road has applied for permission to locate a roof terrace to the rear of their building, overlooking Ashby Place which in turn backs on to several houses in Auckland Road West. This is part of a proposal to convert the rooms above the ground floor into hotel accommodation. 

Now it’s fair to say that no one would have any objection to the conversion of the upper rooms but the roof terrace is another matter. The majority of people living in Ashby Place and Auckland Road West as well as those in apartments in Palmerston Rd such as Hamilton Court are vehement in their objection to the roof terrace.

On behalf of The Southsea Association I wrote to the council on June 19th voicing the main objections to the application and the letter is reproduced below. On that occasion the application was refused.

The reasons for the Local Planning Authority’s decision were:-
1) The proposed construction of the first floor roof terrace would have an adverse impact on adjoining occupiers in terms of overbearing noise and disturbance and would fail to meet the requirements regarding residential amenity as identified by Policy PCS23 of the Portsmouth Plan.

2) The proposed parking provision is not in accordance with the requirements of the City Council's Parking Standards SPD and insufficient information has been submitted to justify a reduced level of parking. Accordingly the development would fail to provide an adequate level of car parking for the proposed hotel use, which would be likely to increase demand for limited on-street car parking facilities to the detriment of the environment of the area and contrary to policies PCS17 and PCS23 of the Portsmouth Plan, and the aims and objectives of the adopted Parking Standards SPD, to maintain a balanced approach between car parking and sustainable transport.

In response, Wetherspoon’s engaged consultants to examine the concerns over the issue of noise and a report was prepared. This elaborate report doesn’t provide any evidence to reassure neighbouring residents that their misgivings are groundless. Nor does it offer Local Planning Authority grounds to reconsider its original decision.

In short, the new application is simply the old one with the addition of the Noise Assessment Report and can be seen at :

We are now arranging an opportunity for residents to meet with us to discuss the matter and explain what we will be doing to support them. Details will be posted here. If you have any questions you would like to ask then please contact us.

Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation.

In his newsletter, Councillor Luke Stubbs writes: “Every area in England has to produce and maintain a local plan that outlines land use policies and which can be used as the basis for determining planning applications. Portsmouth’s current local plan was adopted in 2012 and is getting rather long in the tooth. In the intervening five years, national policy has been changed most notably to reduce local authorities’ abilities to stop building changing use and to boost greenfield development, while technology has permanently reduced the demand for office and retail space.

The rules outlining how to update a local plan are laid down by government and it’s a time consuming and drawn out process. Portsmouth is starting the refresh of its policies now, with a view to having the new plan adopted by the end of 2019.

At this stage, the council is consulting on its Issues and Options document, which is a high-level document about general principles. Most of the content is pretty vanilla, with the difficult question of specific sites not covered until a subsequent document next year. General growth points are identified though, including Tipner, the City Centre and St James.

The most important question is that of housing numbers. The council is putting forward two options for the period between 2011 and 2034, 14560 (633 per annum) and 17020 (740 per annum) and I would be surprised if many people picked the latter.”

For those of you who would like to take part, this is the link to the Local Plan document:

This is the link to the consultation questions: