The planning application for Portsmouth Water HQ and what it means for the Bosmere Medical Centre

Page updated – Dec 5, 2021

Portsmouth Water have submitted a planning application to build a new Headquarters office building on the land immediately behind and overlooking the Bosmere Medical Practice in Solent Road. Their long term intention is to demolish their old offices in West Street to enable the building of 135 new homes. To fund this ‘master plan’, the current planning application also proposes four industrial units on the land opposite the entrance to the medical centre.

Take a look at the following slideshow

The first picture shows an aerial view of the Bosmere Medical Centre as it is today, with the grass fields on the left hand side and the ponds to the top of the picture. The second image shows the proposed new office block and its car park behind the surgery, and four new industrial units on the left hand side. The important point to note is that the entrance to this new development would be the site road currently used to enter the medical centre.

The Bosmere Medical Centre Staff, the members of the Bosmere Patient Participation Group and Havant Civic Society are extremely concerned about the impact that this development would have, both on the safety of the patients and the working conditions of the GP, nursing and pharmacy staff.

We all know that the morning and evening surgery hours coincide with peak time traffic hours and many of you will have found that the Solent Road traffic often makes it difficult to arrive safely in time for your appointments, either on foot, in a private car or by taxi.

If the medical centre is forced to share the entrance road with staff visiting and working at both the Portsmouth Water HQ and the four new industrial units, we believe that the safety of their patients and staff will be put at risk.

Many of the daily visitors to the Bosmere Medical Centre and the Boots Pharmacy are elderly, infirm, unwell and consequently distracted. We believe that the safety of these patients and the staff who care for them should be of paramount importance in Havant Borough Council’s consideration of this planning application.

Update – Dec 5, 2021

For the past twelve years, the Bosmere Medical Practice and the Boots Pharmacy have shared a short cul-de-sac access onto Solent Road. This access route is now used by around 650 patients per day, many of whom will be elderly or infirm, arriving by private car, taxi or other forms of patient transport, visiting a current total of 70 staff clinical and administrative staff.

The numbers only using the Boots Pharmacy on a daily basis are unknown, though users of the site will be aware that there are a significant number of visitors arriving by car or on foot, to visit the pharmacy only.

Pharmacy deliveries and ambulances also need access to the site. Surgery hours are dictated by the NHS Contract, meaning that morning and afternoon surgeries coincide with the daily traffic peaks in Solent Road.

This planning application concerns the construction of a new Portsmouth Water HQ building on the field immediately behind the Bosmere Medical Practice. At peak morning and afternoon hours, Portsmouth Water expect around 100 employee vehicles to be using the access road

To maximise the value from the Portsmouth Water land, the application also includes four commercial units which will be serviced by HGV and LGV traffic, also using the same site road.

The end game for this property development will be the eventual demolition of the existing Portsmouth Water West Street HQ buildings to make way for 135 new homes in support of Havant Borough Council’s housing targets. Further sites owned by the company across Havant are earmarked for similar use.

During a presentation to the Bosmere Medical Centre and the PPG by Portsmouth Water and their partners, Fellows Planning, Chancerygate and Tetra Tech (WYG) on November 30, it was confirmed that when operational, the Portsmouth Water HQ site traffic is expected to comprise circa 100 vehicles entering during the morning traffic peak, and the same number leaving during the afternoon traffic peak.

These peak times coincide with the peak surgery hours, which are dictated by the NHS contract.

There are no traffic predictions for the four commercial units proposed. While the Framework Travel Plan documentation provided with the application states that there will be 30 parking spaces for these four units, the drawings supplied actually shows 39. The site access design will accommodate both HGV and LGV, but no estimate of numbers or frequency of access has been given. When asked whether Chancerygate already had occupants in mind, the reply was negative. The units are being proposed as a speculative development to meet a need highlighted by an unspecified industry survey.