A FORMER council depot in a leafy Southampton suburb could soon be home to dozens of new student flats.

A developer has applied to build 26 student flats at the site in Bassett, which used to be home to the city council’s pest control department, after their original application was thrown out But the proposals are still being resisted by members of the community in Vermont Close, who say the flats are not suitable for the area.

A previous plan for a building of up to four storeys with 26 flats containing 120 bedrooms was refused planning permission on the grounds of overdevelopment, the impact on the character of the area and a failure to address concerns over the impact the building would have on surrounding trees.

A Government planning inspector dismissed an appeal, but only on the grounds of failing to provide information on how the surrounding trees would be affected.

Now a fresh application has been lodged with the city council with information to address those concerns.

The application describes the proposed flats as “high quality”, adding: “We consider this location will be very popular with students as research has led us to understand that this area would be preferred over areas in the city centre due to proximity to campus and fear of crime factors associated with the city centre.”

However some residents living near to the site are still against the plans.

Claire Desai said: “We are devastated at the prospect of our leafy community being destroyed by having such an unsuitable, densely populated development forced upon it.

“None of us object to the site being developed, but we do object at the unsuitability of this development in an established residential area.”

Neighbour Phillip Simons said: “The experience of student residences in other parts of the city such as Glen Eyre and The Polygon is that there will be noise and vandalism from inebriated individuals and groups going to and from the proposed flats into the early hours.

“It is likely that the grounds of our flats will be used as shortcuts and public toilets.

“There will be cars and taxis going to and fro maintaining what is called ‘the night time economy’ and the importation of crime.

“This will result in considerable disturbance and loss of amenity to existing residents, many of whom are long-term residents of retirement age.”

A decision is due to be made by the council by June 16.