A beautiful and purposefully-designed plan for City Centre North


Artist's impression of development

What are we doing and where?

The change in all of our shopping habits has big implications for the future of the high street. The first is that internet spending isn’t the biggest threat high streets up and down the country face; it’s the lack of demand. The second is that high streets will have to adapt to changing buying patterns, and move away from relying on shops alone to attract customers. 

For that reason, we want to transform the northern part of the city centre. The plans will the see the redevelopment of the former Tricorn and Sainsbury’s sites, which the council bought to unlock the opportunity for long-term regeneration of wider area. 

To increase demand, we’ve focused on making the best use of this large area by creating new homes, new walking and cycling routes and a large open green space stretching from St. Agatha’s Church to All Saints’ Church. By bringing more residents into the area, we’ll not only deliver more homes for local people, but also more customers for shops, restaurants and other businesses in the city centre. 


Why are we doing this?

The City Centre North project focuses on:

  • The future of the city centre and environmental needs
  • What you have been telling us through the Local Plan survey and the Imagine 2040 City Vision
  • Joining up logically with our other projects in the city centre
  • Supporting the need for sustainable, affordable homes
  • Enabling a greener city with easier travel
  • The local community but also considers attracting visitors

Developing a new substantial green open space in this area will:

  • Help people’s physical and mental health
  • Improve our natural environment – from the air that we breathe to the variety of wildlife
  • Create safer routes for people walking or cycling
  • Facilitate cultural and creative activities
  • Be a shared space, helping people connect
  • Support the local economy by creating new business opportunities that don’t depend on traditional high street shopping
  • Provide a safer, healthier environment for homes

How are we doing this?

The project is split into two phases: 

  • Phase 1 comprises two buildings delivering 550 new homes, non-residential floorspace and associated landscaping and access work, including part of the new public green space. The buildings form a courtyard arrangement which maximise views into and interacts with the green space.  
  • Phase 2 comprises a series of residential or mixed-use development plots, including the remainder of the new green space. 

We are now looking to work with partners to deliver these phases. 

The community will continue to be involved in shaping the plans for the city centre at each stage of the project. 

Outline planning permission has now been granted based on the feedback you’ve already given us, but there will be lots more opportunities to influence the plans, including the new green open space.  

We’ll be inviting residents, businesses, and community groups to share their ideas and priorities for the area through city-wide consultation as the detailed plans progress. 

Aerial image of the city centre


As with any development of this nature, we needed to submit a planning application to the local planning authority. This was approved in autumn 2023, and you can view it here. 

We want the project to involve as many people as possible in the design of the site and how it will be used, so the application has been kept as flexible as possible. It identifies the potential range of land uses and amounts of development that could be delivered on the site. It also identifies the broad locations for potential new buildings, new pedestrian and cycle priority routes, and new shared spaces, including the creation of a significant open green space for Portsmouth.  

The application also shows how the land might be developed over time and how it will relate to the existing and future road network. It also considers in detail how several existing environmental, land ownership and physical issues might be addressed to deliver the improvements needed in the area. 

Latest project images

This is the the latest illustrative masterplan of the proposed City Centre North development.

Below, you can find the artist’s impressions of how various areas of the development could look in future.

Portsmouth Piazza

The new primary gateway to the park within the illustrative masterplan is at the junction of Charlotte Street, Commercial Road and Lake Road. This important entrance point is marked by a new area of public realm – Portsmouth Piazza.

This new axis could link the new park to Portsmouth city centre, and will include ground floor commercial uses, including shops and restaurants with al fresco dining.

Charlotte Street

This is an artist’s impression of what Charlotte Street and the former Tricorn site could look like.

The development aims to bring life back to the street by creating a place the community can connect once more.

An artist's impression of what Charlotte Street and the former Tricorn site could look like.

Open green space

It’s a council priority to create new green spaces, so a substantial new park will create a new link between St Agatha’s and All Saints Church.

It’ll link to Victoria Park to the south, and enable future connections to the north creating a safe network of cycle paths and pedestrian routes.

An artist's impression of what the new city centre green space could look like

Commercial Road

This artist’s impression shows what the north end of Commercial Road could look like.

The proposal aims to re-invigorate Commercial Road with a new transport hub and ground floor commercial uses. A place with a high footfall and within close proximity to Portsmouth & Southsea train station, it is vital that this continues to draw people in despite changes in shopping habits.

An artist's impression of what the north end of Commercial Road could look like