Legal bid to block loss of light appeal for Mayflower Plaza development in Southampton

An artist’s impression of the Mayflower Plaza

An artist’s impression of the Mayflower Plaza

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

COUNCIL chiefs have agreed to use a complex legal manoeuvre to make sure a £70 million, 1,000- room student village in Southampton city centre can go ahead despite blocking the light of neighbouring properties.

Developers, in partnership with the University of Southampton, want to build three blocks of student flats up to 15 storeys high at the boarded up Mayflower Plaza site off Commercial Road, but could face a court injunction from neighbours over the loss of light.

Osborne Developments and landowner Terrace Hill told the council that the rights of light enjoyed by the owners and occupiers of premises in the north of Commercial Road, Wyndham Court, The Mayflower theatre , and BBC, were a “significant risk to stopping or impeding the development.”

To avoid that risk, the city council has agreed to invoke little used planning powers that allow development to take place despite rights of light being interfered with, if compensation is paid to neighbours and the scheme can be said to boost the environmental, social or economic wellbeing of the area.

To use the powers under the Town and Country Planning Act the council will have to buy the site, which will then be sold back to developers at a later date – all for nominal sums.

The developer will fund the compensation payments and meet all the costs of any conveyancy fees and duties. Council leader Richard Williams said: “This administration was keen wherever possible to enable and facilitate development.

“We are using our powers in order to try to liberate a piece of land that has been under developed for 15 or 16 years. We want to see economic development in the city and we certainly want to facilitate that.”

Plans for an £80 million development of 180 apartments, a striking seven-storey office block and hotel, called Mayflower Point, were given the go-ahead by councillors nearly four years ago but a failure to find tenants for the offices left it sitting on the drawing board.

Residents who responded to a consultation welcomed the plans for a student village which they said would bring jobs, money and life to the area.

Comments (11)

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10:32am Tue 25 Sep 12

hulla baloo says...

Legal loopholes and manoeuvre = brown envelopes?
Legal loopholes and manoeuvre = brown envelopes? hulla baloo
  • Score: 0

10:40am Tue 25 Sep 12

arthur dalyrimple says...

no problems all around the lodge table.
no problems all around the lodge table. arthur dalyrimple
  • Score: 0

10:44am Tue 25 Sep 12

ToastyTea says...

As a resident living 5 mins from here it was nice to know there was a consultation.
Hope this doesn't go ahead or I have moved by then. it's bad enough with the students in the Polygon at the moment let alone a 1000 more in the area.
As a resident living 5 mins from here it was nice to know there was a consultation. Hope this doesn't go ahead or I have moved by then. it's bad enough with the students in the Polygon at the moment let alone a 1000 more in the area. ToastyTea
  • Score: 0

11:06am Tue 25 Sep 12

jen23uk says...

As a resident of the Empire View block of flats directly next door to this development, I can categorically say that myself, and the other residents who responded to the consultation by the planning department, seriously DISAGREED to this development going ahead!!! I am one of the people who will be affected by this restriction on light, let alone the constant noise, disruption, additional traffic brought by 1000 students living next door, and "compensation" will not make it any better! I dread to think what this development will do to the value of my flat, let alone my standard of peace and quiet :(
As a resident of the Empire View block of flats directly next door to this development, I can categorically say that myself, and the other residents who responded to the consultation by the planning department, seriously DISAGREED to this development going ahead!!! I am one of the people who will be affected by this restriction on light, let alone the constant noise, disruption, additional traffic brought by 1000 students living next door, and "compensation" will not make it any better! I dread to think what this development will do to the value of my flat, let alone my standard of peace and quiet :( jen23uk
  • Score: 0

11:20am Tue 25 Sep 12

Dresnez says...

To avoid that risk, the city council has agreed to invoke little used planning powers that allow development to take place despite rights of light being interfered with, if compensation is paid to neighbours and the scheme can be said to boost the environmental, social or economic wellbeing of the area.

To use the powers under the Town and Country Planning Act the council will have to buy the site, which will then be sold back to developers at a later date – all for nominal sums.

So in effect we have no rights!

Fareham did this to me. Allowed my neighbour or put an extension over his garage which now means I have a boundary wall 1 metre or 3ft from my landing window. Too bad it makes my landing and stairs dark.

Oh well just keep paying the old council tax old girl.
To avoid that risk, the city council has agreed to invoke little used planning powers that allow development to take place despite rights of light being interfered with, if compensation is paid to neighbours and the scheme can be said to boost the environmental, social or economic wellbeing of the area. To use the powers under the Town and Country Planning Act the council will have to buy the site, which will then be sold back to developers at a later date – all for nominal sums. So in effect we have no rights! Fareham did this to me. Allowed my neighbour or put an extension over his garage which now means I have a boundary wall 1 metre or 3ft from my landing window. Too bad it makes my landing and stairs dark. Oh well just keep paying the old council tax old girl. Dresnez
  • Score: 0

11:43am Tue 25 Sep 12

Facewagon says...

People whine and moan about students living in private rented accommodation and complain that the universities should build more Halls of Residence. The universities start to build more Halls of Residence and people whine and moan about that. They can't win, can they?
People whine and moan about students living in private rented accommodation and complain that the universities should build more Halls of Residence. The universities start to build more Halls of Residence and people whine and moan about that. They can't win, can they? Facewagon
  • Score: 0

11:50am Tue 25 Sep 12

userds5050 says...

jen23uk wrote:
As a resident of the Empire View block of flats directly next door to this development, I can categorically say that myself, and the other residents who responded to the consultation by the planning department, seriously DISAGREED to this development going ahead!!! I am one of the people who will be affected by this restriction on light, let alone the constant noise, disruption, additional traffic brought by 1000 students living next door, and "compensation" will not make it any better! I dread to think what this development will do to the value of my flat, let alone my standard of peace and quiet :(
Isn't Empire view a new build? What about the extra traffic, disruption you've brought. it was a car park before if memory serves. Or is it different because they're students?
[quote][p][bold]jen23uk[/bold] wrote: As a resident of the Empire View block of flats directly next door to this development, I can categorically say that myself, and the other residents who responded to the consultation by the planning department, seriously DISAGREED to this development going ahead!!! I am one of the people who will be affected by this restriction on light, let alone the constant noise, disruption, additional traffic brought by 1000 students living next door, and "compensation" will not make it any better! I dread to think what this development will do to the value of my flat, let alone my standard of peace and quiet :([/p][/quote]Isn't Empire view a new build? What about the extra traffic, disruption you've brought. it was a car park before if memory serves. Or is it different because they're students? userds5050
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Tue 25 Sep 12

loosehead says...

Wouldn't it have been better to restrict the height of these buildings?
I'm fot this project but feel all parties should be happy with the development not for one side to be ignored & a loophole used to refuse their rights
Wouldn't it have been better to restrict the height of these buildings? I'm fot this project but feel all parties should be happy with the development not for one side to be ignored & a loophole used to refuse their rights loosehead
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Tue 25 Sep 12

Georgem says...

Facewagon wrote:
People whine and moan about students living in private rented accommodation and complain that the universities should build more Halls of Residence. The universities start to build more Halls of Residence and people whine and moan about that. They can't win, can they?
What those people are really moaning about, is the presence of students full-stop.
[quote][p][bold]Facewagon[/bold] wrote: People whine and moan about students living in private rented accommodation and complain that the universities should build more Halls of Residence. The universities start to build more Halls of Residence and people whine and moan about that. They can't win, can they?[/p][/quote]What those people are really moaning about, is the presence of students full-stop. Georgem
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Tue 25 Sep 12

ohec says...

userds5050 wrote:
jen23uk wrote:
As a resident of the Empire View block of flats directly next door to this development, I can categorically say that myself, and the other residents who responded to the consultation by the planning department, seriously DISAGREED to this development going ahead!!! I am one of the people who will be affected by this restriction on light, let alone the constant noise, disruption, additional traffic brought by 1000 students living next door, and "compensation" will not make it any better! I dread to think what this development will do to the value of my flat, let alone my standard of peace and quiet :(
Isn't Empire view a new build? What about the extra traffic, disruption you've brought. it was a car park before if memory serves. Or is it different because they're students?
Surely they must have expected something to be built on the site, if peace and quiet are so important i wouldn't have thought buying a flat in the middle of a city was a good idea aren't NIMBY's great.
[quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jen23uk[/bold] wrote: As a resident of the Empire View block of flats directly next door to this development, I can categorically say that myself, and the other residents who responded to the consultation by the planning department, seriously DISAGREED to this development going ahead!!! I am one of the people who will be affected by this restriction on light, let alone the constant noise, disruption, additional traffic brought by 1000 students living next door, and "compensation" will not make it any better! I dread to think what this development will do to the value of my flat, let alone my standard of peace and quiet :([/p][/quote]Isn't Empire view a new build? What about the extra traffic, disruption you've brought. it was a car park before if memory serves. Or is it different because they're students?[/p][/quote]Surely they must have expected something to be built on the site, if peace and quiet are so important i wouldn't have thought buying a flat in the middle of a city was a good idea aren't NIMBY's great. ohec
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Tue 25 Sep 12

sotonboy84 says...

loosehead wrote:
Wouldn't it have been better to restrict the height of these buildings? I'm fot this project but feel all parties should be happy with the development not for one side to be ignored & a loophole used to refuse their rights
Very true.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't it have been better to restrict the height of these buildings? I'm fot this project but feel all parties should be happy with the development not for one side to be ignored & a loophole used to refuse their rights[/p][/quote]Very true. sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

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