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Council bags ‘Best New Build in Portsmouth’ award for third time in four years

June 10, 2020
WATCH time lapse footage of Portsmouth City Council building a housing development that has seen the council pick up the prestigious ‘Best New Build in Portsmouth’ award for the third time in four years.

Click here to watch video of the council demolishing the rundown and vacant Somerstown Health Centre and Arthur Pope House – an unattractive block of 24 flats – both of which had reached the end of their usable lives.

The video then shows the council building Ivy Close – 60 high quality, eco-friendly, council-owned houses and flats on the same Blackfriars Road site, in Somerstown.

Ivy Close has won the Portsmouth Society’s Best New Build award just four years after the council won the same accolade for landmark community building Somerstown Central (the Hub) just 100 metres west of the Ivy Close site. The Hard transport interchange, in Portsea, also won the award in 2018.

Somerstown Central includes the GP surgery and health facilities that were moved to make way for Ivy Close, along with youth, community and housing management office facilities, in an iconic tubular structure spanning Winston Churchill Avenue.

Property development project manager Adrian Legg, who managed the Ivy Close scheme, and was also part of the Somerstown Central project team, said: “Ivy Close includes housing options designed specifically for people with disabilities in an attractive scheme that maximises the potential of a previously inefficient council-owned site.

“We’re very proud of it and it’s great to have a team of experienced industry experts recognise the value of this development for Portsmouth.”

Cabinet member for Housing Cllr Darren Sanders said: “To win this award three times in four years is exceptional – particularly when you take into account the financial pressure councils are under.

“The council’s housing development team are quite rightly very proud to be delivering award winning council-owned homes for Portsmouth people at prices they can afford and to be delivering homes for people with mixed and varied needs.”

“A major part of the reason our development of this city centre brownfield site saw us win this award for the second time in such a short space of time was the significant positive impact that it had on the city’s affordable housing stock.”

Ivy Close is nine family houses and 51 flats in three blocks.

To meet the needs of the local population and future proof the scheme, one house was designed for a wheelchair user and 11 of the flats were made accessible for tenants with mobility issues.

Three of the houses were built for adults with learning disabilities to enable them to live, with support, as part of a vibrant community.

To make the flats appear less imposing the three blocks were stepped from six floors down to three.

The buildings were rendered for an attractive and durable finish and all of the houses have 20 to 36 feet long gardens.

The development also includes 39 car parking spaces.

The scheme made use of modern methods of construction with the timber frames for the houses and the Metsec frames for the flats being made offsite and put together onsite to save time and reduce waste.

The development was designed to be as eco-friendly as possible with 189 solar panels installed providing around 50 kwp of electricity and the homes were also designed to meet the council’s 19 per cent improvement in dwelling emission rates and reduced water consumption.

The old Somerstown Health Centre and Arthur Pope House building was demolished by Portsmouth demolition firm Hughes and Salvidge and Ivy Close was built by Portsmouth construction firm PMC.

Click here to find out more, call 023 9283 4954 or email

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