A SOUTHAMPTON MP voiced his disappointment after it was announced works for a multi-million-pound housing estate are set to start six years after their original plan.

Royston Smith said he was “relieved but disappointed” that the work for the regeneration of Townhill Park will commence later this year when people were asked to move out in 2011.

“It’s been lying empty since 2011 when Southampton has more than 10,000 people on its housing waiting list.

“We started sending people out in 2011 to demolish the existing buildings. People could have been living in there for the last six years and, of course, paying rent to the council.”

A deal has been struck with a leaseholder who had refused to move out. The city council has now confirmed that it has been agreed to relocate the last resident on Plot 2.

It was unclear whether the man was still living in the near-derelict building as access to the public is restricted.

Work on Plot 1 and 2 is planned to start later this year. Plot 1, on the corner of Meggeson Avenue and Townhill Way, and Plot 2, on the opposite corner of the same site, will be the first of the regeneration projects.

Plot 1 will see 56 council homes developed, while more than 200 homes will be built on Plot 2, available for private rental and affordable rental.

As previously reported, the development is part of major plan which will see 675 new homes along with shops and a green space.

Cllr Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “We are very pleased to be starting the delivery of regeneration plans that will provide a mix of affordable and market housing and essential community improvements to Townhill Park residents.

“Regeneration of Townhill Park will also enhance the economic, social and wellbeing of its residents, with such measures as traffic calming of Meggeson Avenue and the creation of a new central ‘village green’ and the improvements to linked green spaces and Frog’s Copse.”

Local residents have been involved in consultations since 2011 and the council has confirmed that further consultation on future household moves will shortly be carried out.

The work are expected to be completed by spring 2019.