Portsmouth’s Tricorn shopping centre redevelopment was a step closer today as a reserved matters application was approved last night.

The reserved matters application covered the design of the core buildings for the scheme which will include a John Lewis and 80 new shops for the town.

Developer Centros’ £500m scheme has been hit by a series of delays but the decision by the council last night is a step in the right direction for them.

The Northern Quarter development is still awaiting the outcome of an objection lodged against a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the scheme.

The secretary of state confirmed the CPO last year but an objector lodged a legal challenge which will be heard in late summer.

Development cannot start until the CPO process is able to progress.

The objector has until tomorrow to lodge details of the challenge in the court.

John Marsh, Centros development director, said of the decision last night: ‘Naturally, we are all very pleased to have achieved this milestone.

‘Our development of Northern Quarter is vital for the regeneration of Portsmouth city centre and this decision will now enable our team to focus on the other aspects of the project that are essential to the process of bringing it to fruition.

‘This work will continue while we are waiting for the outcome of the current legal challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to confirm the Compulsory Purchase Order.’

A council spokesman said it is confident the objections would be quashed and the scheme will move ahead.