Northern Quarter back on councillors’ agenda

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PORTSMOUTH’S Northern Quarter development was back on the agenda at a council meeting.

Portsmouth City Council’s planning, regeneration and economic development panel passed new plans from Centros for the project yesterday.

Centros is the developer behind the regeneration of the Northern Quarter.

The proposals include transforming the northern part of the city centre to feature between 50 and 60 shops, cafes, restaurants, and a cinema.

Parts of Hampshire Terrage and Lord Montgomery Way would be pedestrianised, along with the south end of Commercial Road and all of Guildhall Walk.

Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South and committee chairman, said: ‘It all went through unopposed – the meeting was over in four minutes. We now have all but the signatures on the new agreement. Things are moving in the right direction.

‘It won’t happen quickly because it will be the same time scale of 2018 until it’s up and running.

‘It’s disappointing it has taken us this long but the economy has hit everyone. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that with three big high street shops closing within weeks of each other, it’s pretty ominous.’

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘This puts the scheme back up and running. There is potential for an extra 2,000 jobs in the city.’