THE owner of land where the Northern Quarter development could be built has backed the city council’s plan to axe ties with the site’s developer.
On Monday The News revealed Tory council leader Donna Jones wanted to sever a legally-binding deal with Centros to build the scheme off Market Way – which has been more than a decade in the making – to allow another firm to get on board with fresh plans.
Today, real estate giant Delancey, which owns the site, said it backs Cllr Jones’ efforts, saying it could speed up the much-delayed proposal.
A spokesman for the firm said: ‘As a major landowner in the centre of Portsmouth, we are committed to working with the council and believe its proposed decision to end the old agreement will allow a fresh and relevant approach to the scheme.
‘We have already begun discussing new plans with the leader of the council and are confident a scheme can be delivered, which will regenerate the site and respond to the fast changing make-up of the retail market, for the benefit of the Portsmouth community.’
The council had a contract with Centros, which has been updated over the years, to ensure it remained committed to the project.
Cllr Jones says the proposed termination of the development agreement had been a long time coming.
‘I want to see a ‘plan B’ with bigger ideas and aspirations brought forward,’ added the council chief.
‘The scheme fell over in 2008 when the recession hit.
‘I feel now, that with my vision for the city, with the America’s Cup and a five-star hotel, and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower branding, we need something bigger and this is an opportunity to achieve that.’