A “public consultation meeting” is being advertised for Monday (April
24) about turning the former Blockbuster video shop in Portswood into
two new retail stores and 65 student studios – although local groups
think the art deco building could also make a great “community hub”.
It’s thought the building, at 133 Portswood Road, on the corner of Brookvale Road next to Waitrose, was originally a garage showroom, and at one time could have also sold fuel.
It closed as a Blockbuster rental store in March 2013, and has remained empty since.
“We are proposing to build two new retail stores, and 65 high quality self-contained student studios on the upper floors,” say Lainston Securities on material promoting their meeting. They say people will be able to view provisional plans, although a planning application has yet to be made.
Location for hub
Clare Diaper, pictured, from October Books said the old video rental shop had been considered as a location for a community hub:
“My view is that the old Blockbuster site in Portswood is a wonderful art deco building and a space that many community groups and organisations have contemplated as a potential community hub over the years.
“Southampton Scrapstore, The Art House, October Books and others have all expressed an interest in the building in the past and perhaps it is time for a number of groups to get together to see if there is a viable community proposal for the building.
“Although student housing is important to help return housing stock to the residential market, yet another student development seems excessive. There are few buildings dating from this period in the city and it would be a shame to lose this one.”
She said people can leave their details at October Books if they “want to get together to talk about possible options”.
• The consultation takes place on Monday, April 24 from 4-7pm at Highfield Church Office, Highfield Lane, Southampton SO17 1RLK. If you can't attend but would like more information, you can ring Lainston Securities on 023 80632525 or email