Former Sainsbury's site in city centre bought by council as part of regeneration plans

THE former Sainsbury's site has been purchased by Portsmouth City Council as part of its plans to improve the city.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 7:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 7:48 pm
Portsmouth Sainsbury's, Commercial Rd Picture: Chris Moorhouse (161220-60)

The Commercial Road area will become a significant part of the council's city centre regeneration drive including short and long-term development options.

Councillor Steve Pitt, deputy leader of the council, said: ‘The purchase of the former Sainsbury's site has opened up new and better opportunities that just didn't exist before and that is enabling a new and exciting approach to regenerating the whole area.

‘Whilst we are looking at some exciting long-term options, it is sensible for us to look at an excellent short-term use for the site and that is why we are currently in talks with a potentially suitable tenant. We are looking forward to confirming the details on that very soon.’

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Last year, the council successfully relocated the city centre market to the southern end of Commercial Road in a move welcomed by market traders to protect the future of the industry.

Portsmouth also became one of only four local authorities to be awarded Future High Streets funding for two high streets including Commercial Road.

These recent successes have meant a change in priorities for the council's approach to the former Tricorn site, currently occupied by the NCP car park.

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Cllr Steve Pitt added: ‘We are very much focused on what we can deliver quickly and without complication.

‘That is why, although we still want to see the former Tricorn site come back to life, we have made an informed joint decision at this time to stop work on the proposed partnership and look at other options instead.

‘An existing planning application to develop Hope Street is another example of something that does not align with what we are trying to achieve and prioritise at the moment and so this will be withdrawn for positive reasons.’

The councillor said he wants to hear from residents on their views to improve the city centre.

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