Chapman Taylor's £340 million radical redevelopment of the site where Portsmouth's much-maligned Tricorn Centre stood has secured outline planning approval.
The colossal 83,612 square metre scheme, in Portsmouth's depressed Northern Quarter, forms a grid of open streets boasting a stand-alone flagship John Lewis department store.
It will also have further shops, housing, a four-star hotel, leisure facilities and public spaces.
It will stretch far beyond the footprint of Owen Luder's original '60s shopping centre - bulldozed in 2004 and now used as a car park - and involve a major reconfiguration of Portsmouth's road system and the compulsory purchase of many local businesses.
Chapman Taylor, appointed lead architect in 2002, is designing most of the scheme for developer Centros Miller, but has appointed Van Heyningen and Haward to work up a second department store and housing.
Portsmouth city council's head of planning, John Slater, said the scheme represented a significant break from the concrete Tricorn's enclosed shopping malls.
'It is looking back to the original urban grain of the Northern Quarter, with open streets of retailing. It will put Portsmouth on the map as a sub-regional centre,' said Slater.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2007 with doors opening for shoppers in the summer or autumn of 2009. by Ed Dorrell