Securing the future of Fraser Range is important to us, and we believe our proposals are sensitive to the site and the local community.
We are proposing a high-quality residential development, which responds to the immediate surroundings as well as its distinct history. You can view a plan of the proposals here.
There will be significant landscaped areas across the site, and a footpath will go along the front of the development, allowing the public access around to the east of Portsea Island and north to Langstone Harbour.
Three of the existing buildings will be retained and converted to apartments, with the remaining poor-quality buildings being demolished.
The other homes will be provided by a series of new apartment buildings, in keeping with the existing buildings on the site, as well as a number of houses.
There will be a range of one to four-bedroom homes across the site, with 49 homes in the converted buildings and 81 homes in new buildings – 130 in total.
We will be providing approximately 200 parking spaces on the site, along with 268 cycle spaces. There will also be ecological features built into the fabric of the buildings, where appropriate.
To develop this site and to ensure the ongoing protection of the existing buildings, new homes, Fort Cumberland and rest of the Eastney peninsula – in line with the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership’s ongoing plans to protect Southsea’s coast – it is vital that we put in place substantial coastal defences.
Our engineers have analysed the wave data close to the site, which has allowed us to consider the site in three elements: the west, centre and the east of the site. The wave patterns are complex due to the surrounding geography, harbour and ongoing beach erosion. In simple terms, it is relatively calm in the west of the site and becomes more severe along the east of the site, where there is less beach.
To ensure that we propose and build a coastal defence scheme which is a long-term sustainable solution, we will design it to allow for sea levels predicted in the year 2120. We then design a scheme which could defend against a storm that is severe enough to happen once in 200 years.
For the central and eastern elements, we will be maintaining the existing coastal wall whilst providing additional climate change protection, with defences integrated within the landscaping of the site.
We are also considering the use of a rock revetment in the western third of the site, which would be hidden beneath the beach.
Design of the homes
Our proposals seek to renovate and convert the two larger buildings on the seafront into ‘loft style’ apartments, along with the conversion of a smaller building into a private residence.
Alongside this, we are proposing to create three further apartment blocks and some separate homes.
The proposed new buildings will be of a form and design which reflect the military history of Fraser Range and its historical association with the adjacent Fort Cumberland. The arrangement of new buildings will allow the development more visual permeability when viewed from the Fort, and new sympathetic design elements include strong pedestrian links with the Fort itself.
All the homes will enjoy fully glazed frontages maximising views and a sea front adapted to produce a modern but appropriate design for its historic setting. This will create a contemporary waterfront destination and a coastal walk which will adjoin the Southern Water facility to the east, allowing the local community improved access to the Eastney Waterfront.
Months of design work and in-depth discussions with the city’s Conservation Department have led to these proposals. We are proposing a combination of high-quality contemporary window frames, facing brickwork in a mixture of colours and finishes incorporating those currently on site, and contrasting high-level cladding. This provides an attractive development which will help meet the city’s strategic delivery of homes.
Where appropriate, we will be adding ecological features into the fabric of the buildings.
Highways and access
To cater for the needs of the development the existing access road would be widened to accommodate two-way widths. In addition to this there would be a 3.0m shared foot/cycle way from the junction with Fort Cumberland Road into the site.
Where the site access road joins Fort Cumberland Road, the existing junction will be retained, although the access into the informal parking areas will be closed and relocated along the improved site access road.
Predicted vehicle movements
The following table summarises the predicted vehicle trip generation for 150 homes for the morning peak hour, afternoon peak hour and daily periods. The development is for 130 homes, and as such this is above what would take place.
Impact to local network
We have undertaken an assessment on the potential impact of this development on the local highway network. The site would have historically generated some traffic associated with the previous employment.
This assessment shows that where change in peak hour flow is greater than 10%, these were quiet residential roads that currently have low vehicle movements. The remaining junctions resulted in increases of less than 4% meaning the Fraser Range development has no material impact on the local highway.
The landscaping of Fraser Range is integral to producing an outstanding development which suits its environment, respects its heritage and incorporates the coastal defences.
A key benefit from the development of the site would be the opening of a coastal path linking the western footpath to the south eastern corner of the Eastney peninsula and north to Langstone Harbour.
The walkway would sit alongside the sea wall, giving walkers easy access to the beach. The landscape architects are working closely with our ecologists to ensure that we preserve and introduce carefully protected habitats. These will include a mosaic of habitat types suited to the coastal environment, with the aim of providing connectivity between the designated areas around the site and, where possible, to secure biodiversity gains.
In the centre of the site there will be a semi-natural landscape, with a shingle bank, which protects the view from Fort Cumberland to the Solent Forts. Towards the east of the development, where the old artillery testing was carried out, there will be a viewing platform, which offers views out to the Solent and to Fort Cumberland.
The site is close to several designated areas of nature conservation interest.
These are mainly designated for their marine and intertidal habitats and the species associated with them; notably wintering birds.
Surveys have also identified that the site supports Common Lizard, breeding birds including Black Redstart, roosting bats (Common Pipistrelle), notable vegetation communities and notable invertebrate species.
The site does not support wintering bird activity associated with the designated site itself. Our surveys have identified intertidal habitats nearby (Lock Lake and Milton Lake) that are used by wintering birds. In addition, Brent geese have also been recorded at high tide on the grass to the north of Fort Cumberland.
These identified ecological features are ongoing considerations for the emerging scheme design and construction programme. The impact upon designated areas, habitats and species because of the development will be explored in full within the Environmental Statement, including both direct and indirect effects.
Working with the other specialists within the design team, avoidance, mitigation and compensation measures will be identified. This way significant residual ecological effects can be avoided and measures to improve the environment for various species will be identified.