A huge increase in the projected size of Portsmouth’s £15m city centre shopping development startled Hampshire County Councillors into calling an emergency meeting to discuss the ‘strategic’ implications.
City planners revealed that the Moores Square development, known as the Cascades Centre, could have eventually provided 330,000 sq ft of extra floor space.
This would be an increase of 80,000 sq ft over the city’s original projection, which was set at 250,000 sq ft.
City planners stressed that the growth, of more than a third in size, would not involve any extra stores, and it resulted from ‘flexibility’ built into the design.
The fear of county councillors was that a major new shopping centre in Portsm-outh could upset the balance of retail trade across a large area of the region.