PLANS for a giant statue in Southampton to celebrate the iconic Spitfire aircraft will go before planners tomorrow.

The proposed site of the 40-metre high monument has switched from Trafalgar Dock to Mayflower Park due to the £450 million Royal Pier development.

And if the plans go through, it is hoped the statue will tower over the city’s waterside within two-and-a-half years.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, plans for an eye-catching tribute to the iconic aircraft designed in Woolston that helped to win the Second World War have been in the pipeline for years.

But plans to make Trafalgar Dock its home had to be scrapped after the site emerged as the new home of the Red Funnel ferry terminal in the Royal Pier development.

Mayflower Park then emerged as the new home for the statue, and a new charity is being established to see the project through, called the National Spitfire Project.

If the plans are approved at the city council’s planning panel, the charity has to raise £3.5 million for the statue after all the funds raised for the first statue were spent on studies for the original site.

John Hannides, a Conservative city councillor and member of the team behind the plans, said raising funds would take up to 18 months, while construction work could last for a further 12 months.

Speaking ahead of the planning meeting, said: “It’s clearly a very important stepping stone towards realising our ultimate ambition of paying tribute to the Spitfire, the designers and the people that flew, built and maintained it, and I very much hope that we will get the desired outcome with the planning application so we can press on with raising the £3.5 million.

“There is much to do, the greatest challenge is in front of us, but the planning application is clearly a prerequisite for the project to proceed.

“Mayflower Park is the perfect location, it already has good public access and it can be seen from large areas of the city centre, the sky and by cruise passengers.”

Councillors in the planning panel have been recommended to approve the planning application.