Harry Redknapp has made a £400,000 offer to Portsmouth City Council in an attempt to avoid having to build low-cost homes.
The Tottenham Hotspur manager has already been granted planning permission to build 92 properties on the seafront development but planning rules mean 28 of these must be affordable homes.
Pierfront Developments Limited, Redknapp’s property firm, bought the site in 2007, with the initial clause of 30 per cent of the developments being made to meet the City’s low cost housing needs not being a problem.
The economic crisis that followed soon after meant the company’s profit margins were affected and backers pulled out. Redknapp’s firm then claimed that revaluation of the site showed they would lose money if they were to build any affordable homes on the site.
Last month they asked the council if they could discard the clause but the request was turned down on June 22 by city planning officials.
Pierfront have now offered the council £400,000 to help pay for the homes to be built elsewhere. This offer has been met with criticism by many.
Not least current Eastney and Craneswater Councillor Terry Hall, who told local press: “Hundreds of hard-working people across the city are desperately trying to find a home. To allow this developer to get away without making any contribution would be immoral.”
She also added: “They’re seafront flats and would fetch at least £100,000 each so I don’t think it’s enough.”
The council agreed that the offer would not be enough and would only cover the building costs of five affordable homes – far short of the 28 agreed originally.
Redknapp’s connection with the city came from him managing Portsmouth FC on two separate occasions.
After leading the south coast club to FA victory, he left in 2008 to join current club Tottenham.
A spokesman for the 68-year-old also spoke to local press: “The property market has collapsed. Losses on the site are already mega and there is no profit to be made. It is totally unviable to develop the land with affordable homes. But he doesn’t want to let people down.”
Claire Upton-Brown is Assistant Head of Planning for Portsmouth City Council and spoke to local media: “Affordable housing is important to the council. We look at cases where the profit margin is 17 to 23 per cent. That’s because anything higher than that will develop with no problem, anything lower won’t be backed, but that range means the deal may hang in the balance.”