Residents form committee to fight the proposed America’s Cup base for Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie in Old Portsmouth
Plans for an America’s Cup racing base in Portsmouth have been met with opposition following the formation of a committee looking to fight the proposals.
Old Portsmouth is one of two locations where Sir Ben Ainslie is looking to base his racing team ahead of the next America’s Cup.
Locals spoke out against the futuristic design of the proposed 25m-high building in a recent meeting at the Royal Naval Club.
Committee chairman Malcolm Hill claims that Portsmouth City Council was rushing through the planning process for the site.
Speaking to Portsmouth News, he said: “I don’t like the way this has been railroaded through and taken as a fait accompli. The public seems to have been kept out of it.
“From the number of people at the meeting, this is clearly a sensitive issue.”
Mr Hill believes there are better sites around Portsmouth Harbour, including a disused naval basin in Gosport.
A Ben Ainslie Racing spokesperson said: “We understand everyone will have differing views on the design of the building, some people are very positive to the modern design.
“Within Portsmouth there is a great mix of old and new architecture that sits together well and this is a further example of the same.
“After an extensive search of the Solent area, no suitable site was found in Gosport that meets all the team’s needs.”
Mr Hill plans to hold another public meeting about the proposed site on 11 June.