HUNDREDS of jobs could be created as part of a huge new industrial development on the edge of Southampton, the Daily Echo can reveal.
A developer has lodged plans that it claims would create at least 750 jobs in its construction and operation.
The 21,371 square metre warehouse and office complex is earmarked for a site on Test Lane next to the Daily Echo’s offices and print works.
The developer has also pledged to create a public park.
However nearby residents fear that new development would lead to an increase in traffic and loss of green space.
Local councillors have moved to reassure people living in the area that their concerns will be listened to.
Developer Evander Properties Ltd, which specialises in logistics and industrial units, chose the site because of its location near the busy Port of Southampton and easy access to the M271.
It was tight-lipped about details of the plan, which has yet to be lodged with Southampton City Council.
However a pre-planning document seen by the Daily Echo reveals that the units would be 45ft tall and there would be parking spaces for 305 cars, and a service yard. A noise buffer zone and screening measures are being planned to curb noise for neighbouring properties.
The 16-acre plot was previously a gravel extraction site before being filled in with construction waste.
Cllr Lee Whitbread said he hoped that the developer would engage with him and fellow Millbrook councillors Andy Pope and Cathy McEwing.
He said: “As a member of the Labour administration I’m supportive of additional initiatives that enhance and boost the local economy, however as a ward councillor I would expect the developer to fully engage with myself, Cllr McEwing, and Cllr Pope on their proposals and to listen to any concerns that may arise from us, or on the part of local residents.
“I would point out that Southampton City Council is fully committed to maintaining a buffer zone between the residential dwellings in Gover Road and the proposed development and I’m working with council staff to organise a briefing for the residents’ association.”
People living in Gover Road told the Daily Echo of their concerns over the plans.
Kay Perkins said: “We have so much traffic down here.
“They have now stopped us walking dogs around there. It’s a lovely field for walking dogs. It’s a good place. Traffic is the biggest issue. It’s disappointing.”
David Palmer said: “This road is getting busier all the time. The traffic is going to be horrendous. It’s terrible to lose the space. I would rather see houses built there.”
However Stanley Hall, 92, said: “I have been here 30 years and it was very busy from people coming from the businesses around here but it doesn’t bother me.
“I don’t drive any more, and 750 jobs is a good thing.”
More details of the plan are set to be unveiled at two public exhibitions this week where a team from Evander Properties will be on hand to answer residents' questions.
They are at Coxford Community Centre, Olive Road, tomorrow from 2pm to 5pm and at Redbridge Community School, Cuckmere Lane, on Wednesday from 5pm to 8.30pm.