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Big support for Ainslie in Portsmouth

June 17, 2014 by Tez

Plenty of supporters turned out for last night’s meeting with legendary Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie as he outlined plans for his bid to bring the Brit America’s Cup base to Old Portsmouth. The meeting took place at Portsmouth Cathedral where champions to the cause rallied round to make their feelings known.

After initial reports of objections from residents of Camber Dock, where the proposed new site will be, the overriding sense at the end of the meeting was one of optimism. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who lives in the area, also made an appearance and said: ‘This is something I think will be very good for the economy. As a resident I’m absolutely delighted.’

The scheme will inject £45m into the local economy and create 1000 new jobs. But the idea was teetering on the brink before the meeting as Southampton City Council officials made a last ditch attempt to attract Sir Ben after it looked like the Portsmouth plans might fall through.

City planners have been advised to approve the new designs at a meeting tomorrow. Ainslie said: ‘I’m impressed by the passion of the local residents. We need the support from all of the residents. It’s going to be a tough enough challenge. We want to really do something for the area, for the local economy and for the young people.’

If the plans are approved tomorrow then demolition workers and machinery will move in on Thursday as the deadline is extremely tight.

There were still some concerns though. Fears the building will be too big and ‘won’t fit in’, lack of parking and anger over the consultation period were made clear by a select few. Although they didn’t object to a facility being erected – just the size.



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