A MULTIMILLION-POUND overhaul of Portsmouth is still on the cards, after it was revealed an application for warehouses was turned down to make way for a new road.
As part of the council's ambitious City Centre North project a mix of new homes, businesses and facilities are due to be developed at an estimated cost of £60m.
It could also see a dual carriageway created in the place of Hope Street and Flathouse Road to improve traffic flow both in and out of the city.
READ MORE: The new plan for the Portsmouth city centre
However, work on the road would require land occupied by Vanguard Ltd that the company had earmarked for two new warehouses, one designed to replicate the HMS Vanguard.
After failing to gain planning permission from Portsmouth City Council last year Vanguard took the case to a government inspector who dismissed the appeal on Monday stating that it would not be in keeping with the character of the area and 'conflict with the safeguarding of land for highway improvements.'
Former council leader, Cllr Donna Jones, who was involved in the early stages of the City Centre North scheme, welcomed the decision. She said: 'The site occupied by Vanguard in Portsmouth, adjacent to the M275, is a key site being the main entry point to the city.
'I am pleased that the planning inspectorate has upheld our decision to refuse the application.
'Technically the council's decision would not have been based on the City Centre North development, but it's about making sure we are doing the right thing for the city and enhancing that local area.'
Cllr Ben Dowling, the council's head of regeneration, confirmed the project was still on. 'We are working on the masterplan for the city that will be ready in June next year following public consultation,' he said.
'At the same time we have got the road team will start working on the modelling of the road in a final planning application depending on the feedback.
'The key thing is that we have a mixture of developments as part of this project, including commercial sites, leisure facilities and homes.'
The council's public consultation on the scheme will include open events, online surveys and neighbourhood forums and will take place in the spring 2019.
Already £20m has been set aside by the council for the project, with the additional £40m expected to come from elsewhere.
In Vanguard's appeal against the decision it was stated: 'It is important to note that this proposal (for the warehouses) provides an opportunity to deliver a high-quality development scheme that would significantly uplift the surrounding area, providing a welcome relief from the unattractive development that exists at the present time and enhancing the wider street scene.'