Hampshire & Isle of Wight

John Lewis Southsea's Knight & Lee store cinema plans

Knight & Lee store Image copyright EPR Architects
Image caption An artist's impression of the planned development

A "well-loved" former John Lewis department store in Southsea could become a hotel and cinema under new plans which have been submitted.

The Knight & Lee store, one of only two John Lewis shops to retain its original name, shut on 13 July after trading for more than 150 years.

It was the first store to be closed by the retailer since 2006.

Plans could see the building extended to four-storeys and feature a 43-bedroom hotel, cinema and rooftop bar.

The scheme in the seaside resort's Palmerston Road also includes a cafe, shops and offices.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Knight & Lee store opened in Southsea in 1865 and was acquired by the John Lewis Partnership in 1933

Developer, THAT Group said it planned to "sensitively refurbish and restore" many existing features of the building for reuse within the proposed scheme.

These include the external facade of the building, its central feature staircase, ground floor entrance vestibules and terrazzo flooring.

The store opened in 1865 - it was acquired by the John Lewis Partnership in 1933.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan had previously said the shop was a "well-loved asset" in the area and its closure would "rip the heart out" of Southsea.

Portsmouth City Council is expected to make a decision on the plans by 5 November.

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