It will become the super-stadium and leisure complex for the south that was denied when Southampton FC's plans for a new home at Stoneham fell through in the late 1990s.

Less than five miles separate the site Saints had in mind for a new 25,000 capacity stadium and athletics track, and the home of Hampshire Cricket in Botley Road, West End.

Like the recently-unveiled vision for the Rose Bowl, Saints' plans for a £55m home on a greenfield site off Stoneham Lane were initially given the full backing of Eastleigh Borough Council.

Eventually, eight years after it was first put forward as a potential home for the Saints, plans for Stoneham were shelved in 1998 when the club added a multiplex cinema and two retail outlets, following the initial approval by Eastleigh Borough Council of outline plans for the 73-acre site.

Saints insisted they needed the outlets to be the "commercial engine" necessary to fund the development but, according to council leader Keith House, they would have had "a devastating effect" on existing Eastleigh town centre shops and would "never be accepted".

Eight years on and Eastleigh Borough Council is again in the position of deciding whether a super-stadium should be built on its patch.

The big difference between Stoneham and the Rose Bowl is that Hampshire's impressive new home is already half built.

But that is not the only reason why House, who has been leader of Eastleigh Borough Council since 1994, believes the Rose Bowl will succeed where Stoneham failed.

He said: "We supported Stoneham as we now support the Rose Bowl but the two plans are very different.

"We supported the plans for the football facilities at Stoneham but the plans for the retail outlets would have created too much competition with Eastleigh town centre.

"The Rose Bowl is very different as the proposals we have seen put forward would provide no competition with other areas.

"For example, the high quality, four-star hotel they envisage would not be competing with any other hotels in the area.

"The Rose Bowl's hotel would be targeting a completely different market, there is a big gap in that area at the moment.

"The hotel would also mean that cricket fans would be able to stay on site during big games and not add to traffic when they leave."

The plans for the Rose Bowl are arguably even more exciting than those for Stoneham.

Stoneham would have included an all-weather pitch and an athletics track but not a luxury hotel alongside an 18-hole championship golf course.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: "We're talking to some major names to brand the hotel, which we will be building. It will be managed and run by a hotel operator."

It could be that De Vere run the resort hotel that will be built alongside the redevelopment of the County Club's existing nine-hole course.

De Vere specialises in championship golf courses - they already have a four-times Ryder Cups venue in The Belfry on their portfolio.

But this will be a hotel like no other.

Managing director Glenn Delve explained: "The resort hotel will be a tri-purpose hotel that will accommodate not only the hotel business but a media centre and spectator facilities, built in its entirety overlooking the playing surface.

"It will have all the features expected of a quality hotel - a luxury spa and leisure facilities, eight treatment rooms, a gym and a swimming pool as well as a conference centre."

The Media Centre will be similar to that which graces Lord's and its design is likely to involve consultation with the Cricket Writers' Club to ensure it caters for everyone.

Mr Delve continued: "The media centre will be purpose-built, specified in partnership with the people using it.

User-friendly' "We want to learn from previous mistakes at other venues and make sure it's user-friendly and optimal.

"We'll provide four broadcasting studios and eight radio suites as well as broadband, all the technology needed and designated parking for the media."

The Rose Bowl's plans for new access routes have also met with the initial approval of Mr House.

An extra park-and-walk site will be created alongside an additional entrance on the southern side of the ground, the current emergency route will become a pedestrian thoroughfare and a new emergency road will be directed off the M27.

Mr House is confident that the locals will be as favourable to the Rose Bowl plans, as they were towards the Stoneham proposals eight and a half years ago, when 95 per cent voted in favour of the initial plans for the development of the site, off junction 5 of the M27.

He continued: "The biggest complaint that we have had from West End residents is to do with the access but, potentially, the new plans to cope with that are wonderful and I think the majority of peope will welcome them.

"The plans go a long way to solving the problems of the past and I think the neighbours will recognise that."

Plans for the £35m development of the Rose Bowl, which has so far cost £30m, are available to view in the Atrium at the ground.

Rose Bowl chiefs are already in the process of finding a naming-rights sponsor, which could be worth as much as £5m over ten years. A full planning application is likely to be submitted in the New Year.

Eight years on council chiefs have to decide whether to back the recently-unveiled plans for another super-stadium, at the Rose Bowl.