THIS WEEK IN 1974: IBM ‘country garden’ became our Lakeside

Discussing the finer points of plastering with Peter Bateup and Jim Loftus are (left to right) Mayor of Gosport GJ Hewitt, Mayor of Fareham TG Gardner, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth AG Dann, and Mayor of Havant JV Derben
Discussing the finer points of plastering with Peter Bateup and Jim Loftus are (left to right) Mayor of Gosport GJ Hewitt, Mayor of Fareham TG Gardner, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth AG Dann, and Mayor of Havant JV Derben
Defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaking on board HMS Queen Elizabeth as the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier sets sail from Lossiemouth for the latest in a series of sea trials on Monday, July 24. Picture: PO PHOT Ray Jones/MoD/PA Wire

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Hampshire mayors met at a building site as American firm IBM planned to create an 18th century English country garden –in Portsmouth.

It would sit on a 125-acre site off Western Road, Cosham, where IBM’s £12m British headquarters was in an advanced stage of construction.

Today, however, the land is instead occupied by the Lakeside North Harbour business centre – which is now home to The News, among many other firms including tech-giant IBM.

Despite being a very different landscape to the country garden planned all those years ago, Lakeside North Harbour’s offices are surrounded by extensive greenery and a lake –which was always part of the plan.

Just four years before building began, the site was part of the Portsmouth Harbour bed.