The options

Regeneration and development at Tipner West and Horsea Island East is complex. The location, geography, history and uses of the site, as well as the surrounding area, all need to be taken into account.

Any development also needs to reflect the aims of the £48.75m grant Portsmouth received to regenerate the site and support Portsmouth’s ambitions for the future.

Any development must weigh up and plan for

The city’s need for thousands of new homes for people in Portsmouth

The need for new jobs and training opportunities in the city

The flood risk and importance of improved sea defences

The site’s natural habitats and environmental protections

The protection of historically listed structures on the site

The future of the Harbour School and the best environment for pupils

The future of the boat clubs and sailing centre on the site

The proximity to Whale Island and MoD land on Horsea Island East

The need to ensure the site is well connected to other parts of the city

The city’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030

Portsmouth’s ambitious City Vision and goals for the next 20 years

The need for plans to be financially viable and deliverable

Who is looking at the options for the site?

A team from the council’s strategic developments team is responsible for looking at the options for the site. The council leads a team of experts including, engineers, architects, ecologists, marine and planning consultants. The team’s findings have been shared with members of the council and key stakeholders, such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and DEFRA.

A number of focus groups, roadshows and consultations have also taken place in recent years to speak to residents and businesses about plans for the site. The council’s team is also in contact with the RSPB, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and heritage groups about the future of Tipner West.

The three main options

The council has identified three main options for the future of Tipner West:

Option 1

Do nothing and leave the site as it is

Option 2

Regenerate the existing site, including the former firing range

Option 3

Increase the size and potential of the site with land reclamation

These options and their pros and cons were included in the council’s draft Local Plan in 2021. Once finalised, the Local Plan will set out the council’s approach to development over the next 15 years.

Option 1: Do nothing and leave the site as it is

Opportunities

  • The impact on the intertidal and terrestrial habitats on the site and in the harbour is limited
  • Existing site uses, such as the boat clubs and Harbour School, are unaffected

Limitations

  • Without updated sea defences these natural habitats are at risk from rising sea levels. Tipner East and Stamshaw would be at risk from flooding
  • The council will need to find other places in the city for homes and the opportunity for a green marine innovation hub will be lost
  • The city may also have to return the £48.75m City Deal grant it was awarded to regenerate this area

Option 2: Regenerate the existing site

Opportunities 

  • A green marine employment hub will bring new jobs and training opportunities and boost the Solent economy
  • 1250 new homes will be created for people in Portsmouth
  • Tipner West and Horsea Island East will be connected by a new bridge for buses, bikes and pedestrians
  • The sea defences along this stretch of coastline will be renewed – the loss of intertidal habitat due to the renewal of sea defences has already been partly compensated for by the Environment Agency

Limitations

  • To meet the number of homes and jobs required by the City Deal, this will most likely be a traditional housing development with limited green space
  • Because of the size development, it is unlikely to include new community facilities, such as a school or shops
  • There is limited ability for innovation and sustainability in housing – the site will not be net carbon zero from day one
  • There will be an impact on terrestrial habitat on the firing range. Compensation land will be required for the loss of this habitat

A map of Tipner West showing areas for housing (yellow and orange) and the marine employment zone (pink). The Harbour School (purple) will stay in its current location.

Option 3: Increase the size and potential of the site with land reclamation

Opportunities

  • A green marine employment hub will bring new jobs and training opportunities and boost the Solent economy
  • Create 2000+ new homes for people in Portsmouth
  • Tipner West and Horsea Island East will be connected by a new bridge for buses, bikes and pedestrians
  • The sea defences along this stretch of coastline will be renewed and strengthened
  • Increasing the size of landmass at Tipner West gives more opportunity to create a community with a school, nursery, medical centre and green spaces
  • With more homes, there is more opportunity to explore innovation and sustainability in housing

Limitations

  • There will be an impact on terrestrial habitat on the firing range
  • There will be an impact on intertidal habitats
  • Land reclamation will require additional compensation land
  • Compensation land will need to be provided within the wider habitat area of the species that use it, be larger than the original habitats, and proved to be successful before reclamation can take place
  • The process to secure permission for land reclamation and a larger scale development is complex

An impression of how the land at Tipner West could look with significant land reclamation

Timeline

2015

The council begins reviewing options for the site

2016

The option to pursue land reclamation is proposed

2020

A masterplan for an innovative development including land reclamation (Lennox Point) is drawn up and progressed towards a planning application

2021

The council decides to review the options for the site and draw up a more detailed plan for regenerating the existing site

2022

The council is reviewing the options for the site and will set out its preferred approach for development at Tipner West as part of the city’s new Local Plan for Portsmouth