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Southampton City Council finalises city masterplan for 2030 ahead of public consultation
IS THIS what Southampton city centre will look like in 2030?
The city council has finalised its bold vision for how the city could be transformed over the next 15 to 20 years.
As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the ambitious scheme for Royal Pier and a complete overhaul of the central railway station are just two of the key projects which form the core of its masterplan.
And the heart of the city could be unrecognisable if plans to improve and redevelop the Marlands Shopping Centre, Asda and the WestQuay Retail Park come to fruition.
Council chiefs hope that if the masterplan’s ambitious vision is realised it will generate £2.7billion of investment for Southampton and create 23,000 jobs.
The blueprint, which has now been finalised following consultation last year, has been unveiled alongside an action plan, which is a policy document being put together to show how new developments will be accommodated in Southampton.
The action plan is out for consultation, which will close on October 21.
After that, an independent planning inspector will carry out a public examination of the plan next spring, before it is potentially adopted by the council next summer.
If developments are built as laid out in the masterplan, 250,000sq m of new offices, 180,000sq m of new retail and leisure developments, 5,000 new homes and 2,000 new hotel bedrooms will be created in the city centre.
Seven schemes, dubbed very important projects (VIPs), form the backbone of the masterplan.
They include a comprehensive upgrade of the railway station, the overhaul of Royal Pier which will create an “international face” for the city by providing a new marina, ferry terminal, shops, offices and a casino, and a residential and leisure-led development at the Itchen Riverside and Town Depot sites which would possibly feature an indoor ski centre and other sports and recreational uses.
Above Bar and the central parks
The other projects include a new housing, business and retail development at the Fruit and Vegetable Market site, the development of the Cultural Quarter with new arts facilities and attractions, including the recently-approved arts complex, and the creation of new teaching and support space and student accommodation for Solent University.
The final, and perhaps most ambitious of the seven VIPs, is the overhaul of the heart of the city.
This would include the redevelopment of the area encompassing Asda, the WestQuay Retail Park and the Marlands Shopping Centre, which could deliver a new, multi-level development of shops and businesses.
The eastern side of Above Bar and the empty Bargate Shopping Centre would also be redeveloped and could feature glittering new blocks featuring modern designs.
Those plans would be added to schemes at Watermark WestQuay, which will provide a luxury cinema, a plaza, a tower block of flats and new retail and leisure uses, and the new Morrisons supermarket at the former East Street Shopping Centre, which already have planning permission.
The projects are expected to be delivered in three waves.
The first, featuring Watermark WestQuay, the Fruit and Vegetable Market, the new arts complex, overhauls of the Bargate and East Street shopping centres and the first phase of Royal Pier, is expected to be completed in the next five years.
The second, which is comprised of the improvements to the Station Quarter, Solent University, the Itchen Riverside and Town Depot and the second phases of the Royal Pier and Cultural Quarter, will be concluded within five to 15 years.
How Southampton Central train station could look
And the last, featuring the overhaul of Above Bar West, Above Bar Parkside and the West Quay Retail Park, Itchen Riverside and a Western Gateway leisure, offices and residential development next to Royal Pier, would be finished in the next 15 years or longer.
City council economic development chief Matt Tucker said: “The city centre masterplan and action plan represent a clear message to the business community in Southampton and the Solent sub-region and the wider world, that we can start to badge up areas and market them to companies who are looking to relocate.
“The plans are a clear vision for what we want to see happen in the city so that when developers come here they know exactly what bar Southampton is setting.”
Call 023 8083 3919 for more information.
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