D-Day for Portsmouth city centre masterplan

FUTURE A previous artist's impression for the Northern Quarter in Portsmouth
FUTURE A previous artist's impression for the Northern Quarter in Portsmouth

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THE future of Portsmouth city centre will be decided by councillors within days.

Portsmouth City Council has worked with developers to put forward ambitious plans to transform the city centre and resurrect proposals for the Norther Quarter.

Among the plans are a smaller version of the original ideas for the transformation of the northern part of the city centre, to include between 50 and 60 shops, cafes and restaurants, and a cinema. It would also see parts of Hampshire Terrace and Lord Montgomery Way pedestrianised, along with the south end of Commercial Road and all of Guildhall Walk.

Centros is the developer behind the scheme and it has previously said, if it is given the green light, that work should be completed by 2018.

The council’s cabinet committee will debate the City Centre Masterplan on January 7.

If it is adopted it will shape regeneration in the city centre for the next 15 years.

A public consultation was carried out earlier this year.

Following that, a major change to the masterplan has been the redesign of the proposed city centre road to keep Wingfield Street and Church Street open in both directions.

Deputy leader Hugh Mason, said: ‘If we do not spend money on redevelopment, our city centre will fall below other cities.

‘It is imperative for the future of this city so we can attract investment and we are a very good city in which people can live.’

Labour councillor Jim Patey, who recently stepped down as group leader, said: ‘It’s been on the books for many a decade now and it’s long overdue. The people of Portsmouth are beginning to feel a bit despondent that it’s taken so long.

‘At long last there is a chink of light and hopefully from that we might see some movement.’

The cabinet will meet at midday at the Guildhall. The final decision will be made at full council.