Councillors vote to 'pause and rethink' Tipner West

Councillors vote to 'pause and rethink' Tipner West

Last Wednesday afternoon, Portsmouth’s councillors overwhelmingly voted to 'pause and rethink' plans for Tipner West.

Last week something remarkable happened in the chambers of Portsmouth City Council. What started as a rather ordinary meeting with all of Portsmouth’s councillors ended with something unexpected: Hope.  

As many of you will know, we have been publicly fighting against the ecologically damaging super-peninsula which would concrete over 27ha of legally protected mudflats to build 3,500 houses and a marine hub. Over the last year, over 24,000 people signed our petition asking Portsmouth City Council to scrap the super-peninsula and now more than 9,000 of you have gone a step further and submitted your objections to the proposals in the Draft Local Plan.  

It has become so clear to us that this site is not just of immense value to wildlife but is loved and cherished by those that live nearby. Tipner West has given solace to many local residents over the past few lockdowns, providing essential connection to nature in one of the most densely populated cities in the UK. 

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, Tipner West has been an integral part of our walking routine and these connections with nature have been a daily highlight at a time when the only alternative would have been to walk around the city streets.

- A local Tipner resident  

We have also been doing lots of work behind the scenes, talking to the local councillors and MPs about the potential impacts of this damaging development, trying to muster up opposition to the super-peninsula. Your voice has been a key element of this, and now our local leaders can no longer ignore the tidal wave of concerns from the local community. 

Last Wednesday afternoon, Portsmouth’s councillors overwhelmingly voted to 'pause and rethink' plans for Tipner West. This motion was led by Cllr Cal Corkery of the Labour Party and was supported by the Conservative Party, demonstrating immense cross-party opposition to the current land reclamation proposals.  

We are not entirely sure what this means for the super-peninsula plans yet. Without support from Labour or the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats (who lead the council as a minority) will struggle to gain enough political momentum to keep the project going forward. The evidence of our success will be whether the council does the right thing and removes the land reclamation plans from the next stage of the Local Plan. There is now no justification to keep forging ahead with a scheme this damaging, expensive and unpopular. 

We know that there is a huge appetite now to create something really special here, reimagining Tipner West in a way that can offer fantastic benefits for both people and nature. While I'm sure this isn’t the end of our fight against the super-peninsula, let’s hope that this could be the beginning of a wilder future for Tipner West. 

You can read the RSPB and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's response to the Portsmouth City Council Local Plan here: Read now