THEY are some of the world’s most well-known and glamorous waterfronts.
But stunning vistas from Sydney to South Africa and Copenhagen to Canada could inspire Southampton’s own £450million Royal Pier development.
At an exhibition in the city today, the developers behind the plans to transform Southampton’s waterfront will ask the public for their help in designing the complex.
Plans to transform the dilapidated pier into a complex featuring up to 700 homes, restaurants, bars, a hotel and a super-casino will be handed in next year.
It is hoped construction work could then begin in early 2016, although the development would not be completed for up to 15 years.
It would also see Mayflower Park expanded and improved, and it would become the home for a 40m high Spitfire memorial statue which was recently granted planning permission.
Today’s exhibition will take place from 3pm to 8pm at Westgate Hall in Westgate Street.
Royal Pier Waterfront (Southampton) Ltd, a joint venture company owned by developers Morgan Sindall Investments and funders Lucent Group, and planners Lyons, Sleeman and Hoare, are inviting members of the public to meet members of their design team.
They want the public to contribute their own ideas for the waterfront vision, while they will be seeking feedback on initial designs for the site.
The team will be drawing inspiration from some of the world’s most famous waterfront developments and they want to see what features prove most popular with Southampton residents.
Among the international sites that will be featured is the Darling Harbour redevelopment in Sydney, Australia, which features a shopping centre, museums and a brand new exhibition centre scheduled to open in 2016, and the flourishing Victoria and Albert Waterfront complex in Cape Town, South Africa.
They also include Toronto’s innovatively-designed H20 Park, which has transformed the Canadian city’s waterfront and the 17th century Nyhavn district in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is now a thriving leisure and heritage district.
Architect Nick Ralls, from Lyons, Sleeman and Hoare, said: “For a long time Southampton as a city has been largely disconnected from its waterfront: we aim to change this, and to celebrate its global maritime connections.
“Southampton deserves a destination waterfront that is vibrant, animated, and pleasant: somewhere people want to spend their time, whether it’s for work, play, shopping, or living. In looking for inspiration it is natural that we should turn to some of the world’s most exciting and successful waterfront destinations, such as those in Cape Town, Sydney, Copenhagen and Toronto.
“Each of these possess their own attributes that can add to a vibrant character for a new quayside development and fabulous new Mayflower Park.”
City council leader Simon Letts said: “I’m really excited by the proposals – this is the first opportunity for a generation to design build and deliver a new public park in the city and we’ve got to get it right.
“I hope we get a positive public reaction, I really want the public to engage with the proposals and let us know what they want to be there.”
An initial artist's impression of what Royal Pier could look like