THIS huge student block of flats will soon rise from the ground near Southampton’s historic city walls.

Final plans for a 350-flat complex up to eight storeys high have now been approved, meaning construction work can start in the New Year.

The huge new building will be built on a current city centre car park in Back of the Walls.

Plans to build offices on the site were handed in back in 1985 and 1991, but they fell by the wayside.

The 30,000sq m site in Back of the Walls is currently an NCP car park and was also used as an electricity board depot and warehouse.

Last year developer Bow Developments was granted planning permission by the city council for a 350-flat building at the site.

Since then, student accommodation provider Unicity Southampton SARL has bought the site and handed in revised plans for the site which amended the layout.

And work can now begin on site after the firm’s proposals for 185 studio apartments and 173 “cluster” flats were given the green light.

The building will be between five and eight storeys in height, after Unicity’s new plans removed a ninth storey from the original plans.

Daily Echo:

As well as the flats, which will provide accommodation for hundreds of students at the city’s two universities, there will also be a cafe at the ground floor level.

The area near to the cafe will be transformed into an open piazza with a water feature.

A new pedestrian route will also be built to run through the site, linking Canal Walk to Back of the Walls.

In their planning application, the applicant says the new accommodation would “increase activity in the area and could serve as a catalyst to the redevelopment or re-use of the adjoining sites, to the benefit of the wider area.”