FIVE years of housing development is set to begin later this month on a new 457-home Southampton site.

Developers Inland Homes are to officially break ground on Chapel Riverside, an 8.9-acre site that will see new residential properties next to the River Itchen, close to Ocean Village.

One of the city’s main regeneration projects, the former town depot is to be replaced with a range of homes close to the river and the centre of Southampton.

New flood defences and the reconstruction of a new underground surface water storage tank are also part of the plans that will be finished in 2022.

Chief executive of Inland Homes, Stephen Wicks, said: “We’re creating a comprehensive, mixed-use riverside destination at Chapel Riverside, featuring marine based employment space and improved public access to the waterfront.

“It’s hugely exciting to see this ambitious project starting to come out of the ground.”

The scheme will include 457 properties with a range of heights and building types. The settings of both the Cross House and American Wharf near to Chapel Riverside will also be improved as part of the proposed scheme, which also features a new square with cafes and restaurants.

Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts said: “The ceremony of ground-breaking at the Chapel Riverside development area marks the second phase of Southampton City Council’s Itchen Riverside very important project(VIP).

“The project is one of seven VIP’s and forms part of our ambitious plan for economic growth and development within the city.

“Our ongoing partnership with Inland Homes is a part of radical scheme of improvement in the waterfront areas of Southampton, and the Chapel Riverside area will complement Inland Homes’ Meridian Waterside site, where development is already well underway.”

The ceremony to mark the start of development is set to take place on October 18, with the first phase of development expected to finish in summer 2018 and will include 72 one and two-bedroom apartments.

Final completion of the site is expected in 2022.