CIVIC chiefs are set to make the first step in regenerating a key Southampton site.
Businesses in the Itchen Riverside area of the city will be surveyed to help shape plans for the area.
The site on the western bank of the river is one of seven key sites which council bosses want to see regenerated over the next 20 years.
Their City Centre Master Plan also features approved plans for the city centre Arts Complex and bars, restaurants, retail and public space at West Quay Watermark.
It also features proposals for the long-awaited Royal Pier leisure, retail and housing development and a new Fruit and Vegetable Market Quarter.
As previously reported by the Daily Echo the Town Depot site at the southern end of the riverside is already being offered to developers as an opportunity for housing, leisure, recreation and maritime employment uses.
Now, to shape plans for the riverside the city council will talk to 550 businesses based in and around the area.
Information gathered over the course of the survey will be used to inform future decisions on what will go on the site.
The survey will be carried out by Toby Warren, an economic development specialist with local knowledge, on behalf of the council.
The survey runs until March 21.
Labour council leader Simon Letts said: “I’d like to assure resident and businesses in the Itchen area that we will be carefully considering their needs when preparing our plans for the regeneration of the area. “We are already marketing the former Town Depot site and working with other landowners in the area to consider opportunities as well as improved infrastructure and flood defences. There will also be consultation with stakeholders once initial plans are drafted.
“I hope that in the long term the sites in this area can be brought forward for new marine business uses, whilst continuing to support existing businesses, and to provide good quality housing and improved access to the riverside, as identified within the City Centre Master Plan. Economy “Development of this area and the creation of a new neighbourhood here, will greatly improve the offer that Southampton currently provides, while extending our economic potential and enhancing our status as a centre for marine excellence in the UK and internationally.” Businesses can complete the survey online at southampton.gov.uk/itchenriversidebusinesssurvey. For other information on the survey email email@example.com or call 023 8083 4459.