We were appointed to prepare a master plan as part of the Portsmouth City Centre Development Strategy that is part of the evidence base which supports the proposed approach to the regeneration of Portsmouth City Centre in the draft Local Plan Policy S1, now out for consultation (https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/development-and-planning/planning-policy/the-local-plan/ ).
The master plan is a high-level examination of the future potential of the city centre, based on current and rising trends in commerce, transport, climate and housing, to name just a few. It is based around more people living in the city centre, a greener & healthier environment, a changing shopping offer, a shift from building roads to creating streets, reconnecting the city centre with the its hinterland, a new business location, a greater sense of arrival, and expressing Portsmouth’s personality in the built environment.
The area measures 60 hectares and extends from Flathouse Road (Morrisons) to Winston Churchill Avenue, an area including Guildhall Square, Portsmouth & Southsea station and Cascades shopping centre. The development sites together cover almost 50% of the area.
Every great city has a heart. Portsmouth city centre will continue to be that heart of the city, and will be a beautiful, durable and adaptable place – more compact, more diverse, easier to get around, greener and healthier, and looked after by its happy residents. The future city centre will combine its proud heritage with a pride in its new modernity. Underpinning its evolution will be a step change in place-making and a renewed and sustained emphasis on public realm as the key civic offering in a civilised, attractive, welcoming and open city.
The masterplan contains a strategic response to the following issues:
Vehicle access – Through traffic to other parts of the city and to the ferry port will continue, as will deliveries, but the routes and space devoted to them will be greatly reduced in favour of pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters, better air quality and a greener public realm.
Land use – The city centre of the future will include many of the existing land uses, but with a significantly increased residential community alongside.
Building scale – A dynamic, diverse and rich city centre relies on urban streets which are, in general, lined by midrise buildings. Tall buildings have a role to play but should be the exception rather than the rule.
Public realm – A highly quality public realm is the key investment in terms of changing perceptions of the city centre, and in drawing in private sector investment.
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