Portsmouth council is expected to grant Centros more time to draw up its plans for a £500m regeneration of the city’s Northern Quarter due to the delays caused by the global recession.

The Delancey-backed regeneration developer has asked the council to extend its development agreement from March 2010 to March 2015.

In a letter to the council last month Centros development director John Marsh said: ‘Due to the worsening economic and financial crisis, which has led to current poor demand in the retail sector, we cannot progress the Northern Quarter development on the basis of the reserved matters consented scheme as it currently falls short of any reasonable financial expectations.

‘We will continue to make a detailed review of the scheme to ensure the development has the flexibility to meet current and ongoing retailer requirements and to improve the financial visibility of the scheme.

‘In view of the termination date from March 2010 onwards we need comfort for the City Council that termination provisions will not be operated prior to March 2015.’

A report before the council, due to be heard on Tuesday, recommends approving the time extension.

The scheme would provide more than 1m sq ft of shops as well as leisure facilities, 200 homes and a hotel.