CONSTRUCTION work at a derelict site in the heart of Romsey could start by the end of this year.

The former Strongs brewery site, earmarked for housing, has been at the centre of a long-running saga of uncertainty.

Councillors and developers have been urged to come up with a solution to “sort out the eyesore in the middle of Romsey”.

Plans for 211 homes at the site were put forward by Poole-based company Stanborough Developments Ltd and approved in 2006, but only 13 houses have been built to date, according to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

At the end of December councillor Nick Adams-King, deputy council leader of TVBC, said planners were set to meet the developers in January.

Now Cllr Adams-King has said the meeting has gone well.

In a joint the council and developers said: “Representatives of Stanborough Developments and Test Valley Borough Council have met to discuss ways by which development on the Romsey Brewery Site might be brought forward. The conversations have been constructive and are ongoing. Both sides are hopeful this process will lead to an agreement which will allow work to begin later this year.”

The Echo understands developers and councillors are in talks over the number of affordable homes set to be provided at the site.

As previously reported, in November 2017 the council refused the developer’s proposal to build starter homes – discounted homes for first time buyers – instead of 39 affordable homes as agreed in 2006.

At the time the developer said that without Starter Homes the scheme would be “unviable”.

But the council refused the proposal and said Starter Homes were not “supported by housing as an affordable housing tenure”.