City backs Tricorn site development

Plans to develop the former site of what was once dubbed Britain's ugliest building were given the go-ahead last week.

Portsmouth City Council's development control committee approved Centros Miller's £300 million plans to redevelop the former site of the Tricorn Centre. The scheme forms part of the Northern Quarter development and will deliver major changes to the city centre, including a department store, hotel, open spaces and a revised road layout.

The developer will begin work on site by mid 2007, with completion scheduled in 2009. Development Planning Partnership acted as planning consultant on the scheme.

Centros Miller development director John Marsh said: "We are extending the M27 via what is effectively a three-lane dual carriageway into the city centre. This will improve the highway for residents and visitors by smoothing traffic in and out of the city."

The firm will also develop a mixed-use shopping and housing area covering around 6ha. A John Lewis department store will anchor the development.

Other plans include a 150-bedroom hotel, shops, public space, bars and restaurants. The site will also hold 200 houses, 25 per cent of which will be affordable.

"This will be an open street development to integrate with the city centre," added Marsh. "It will also act as a catalyst for other regions of the city centre. I believe that other developments will flow from ours." The scheme will create around 500 jobs during construction and 2,500 posts afterwards.

The Tricorn building, demolished last year, was voted the country's ugliest development in a 2001 radio poll. "The area had been blighted by the Tricorn for many years," said Marsh. "The regeneration will take Portsmouth into the 21st century."

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