A NEW four-star hotel in Southampton city centre could today get the go-ahead as part of a £100m scheme.

International hotel giant Radisson SAS is ready to run the landmark 204-bed hotel off St Andrews Road, if it gets planning permission.

Developers want to build the 21-storey hotel alongside a lower-rise 122-unit "apart-hotel" where guests can stay for up to three months. Plans also include a block of 219 flats and offices which could be used as a global firm's corporate headquarters.

The development would also include a plaza with "public art" linking it to Solent University.

Planning consultant Graham Parker, of CSJ Planning, told the Daily Echo: "It will provide Southampton with a new landmark building and start the process of developing East Park Terrace with a superb new frontage.

"It will be the best mixed-use development that is being promoted in Southampton at the moment. It's got everything."

The development would replace an ambulance station and 1960s offices.

The 14-storey block of flats would be made up of 23 studios, 168 one-beds and 28 two-beds. One quarter would be affordable homes for rent or shared ownership, with several housing associations in talks with the developer.

The hotel, which would overlook the Jury's Inn in Charlotte Place, would include a ground-floor restaurant/bar, gym and spa and "extensive conferencing and meeting room facilities".

As part of the application, developer Imperial Property (Southampton) Ltd, would offer about £660,000 to the city council to smarten up Andrews Park along East Park Terrace.

Gavin Elliott, chairman of the Southampton Hoteliers' Association said: "If there are to be more hotels in Southampton, far better that they are four or five-star rather than more budget hotels.

"To have another quality hotel could benefit the city by bringing in more business. It's positive news."

Jimmy Chestnutt, director general of the Southampton & Fareham Chamber of Commerce & Industry, welcomed the new investment but warned that the hotel could "significantly change" the skyline around the parks.

He said it should be considered after a new city centre action plan has been adopted by the council.

"This would ensure coherent development and design, adjacent to the Grade II listed parks, which are an important part of Southampton's heritage," Mr Chestnutt added.

Work could start in the autumn, with the hotel open in mid to late 2009.