IT WAS supposed to breathe new life into one of the most deprived parts of Southampton.

But plans to build 59 flats, including 40 affordable homes, in St Mary’s have been thrown into uncertainty over issues of sustainability.

A decision has been deferred for one month while developer Drew Smith Group considers making improvements.

The firm was initially granted permission to build a three to six storey building on the former Chantry Hall site last April.

But the developer the sought to amend the permission, asking to lower sustainability requirements.

Phil Farminer, of Drew Smith, said the main problems were switching from a communal heating system to individual gas boilers, a condition Radian Housing Association insisted on in negotiations to manage the flats.

It is the latest setback for development of the site following a failed plan for an ice rink.