Northern Quarter begins to take shape

Designs for a John Lewis store that will anchor the £350 million Northern Quarter development in Portsmouth city centre were unveiled this week.

Developer Centros Miller revealed the proposed design for the 21,370m2 building that will be located at the intersection of Commercial Road and a new shopping street leading towards St Agatha's Church. The four-floor department store is intended to be a focal point at the northern end of the city's retail area, which was previously blighted by the Tricorn shopping centre.

Centros Miller development director John Marsh said: "We will be taking great care to select high-quality, traditional and local materials. The curved patterned brickwork will complement the city's streetscape."

The John Lewis building is the first part of detailed plans to come forward after outline planning permission was granted by Portsmouth City Council last year (Planning, 18 November 2005, p5). The scheme is designed by Chapman Taylor, which is leading the architectural team for the whole development.

Centros Miller has commissioned separate architects to work on each of the scheme's main elements to create a variety of architecture across the Northern Quarter. The John Lewis proposals will now be submitted for consideration by Portsmouth City Council's development control committee.

The whole development, which also features more than 80 shops, 200 homes, cafes, restaurants, a hotel and public space, is expected to be finished by autumn 2010.

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