CONTROVERSIAL plans for a 130-space car park in Southampton are set to be approved.

Civic chiefs are to discuss the proposal for the new facility on land south of University Car Park, in Broadlands Road at a meeting set to be held at the Civic Centre tonight.

As reported, the plans put forward by the University of Southampton, have sparked a heated debate among residents.

The proposed 130-space car park would be a stone’s throw away from a giant multi-storey car park that would tower above Swaythling Primary School if both applications are approved.

The application for the multi-storey car park has not been discussed yet.

But the scheme in Broadlands Road is set to be given the go-ahead and will be subject to a number of conditions which include making sure the car park will only be used for car parking in connection with the University of Southampton.

Planning bosses said the scheme is "acceptable".

But residents raised concerns over the impact the new car park in Broadlands Road will have on air pollution and traffic.

In a letter a resident said: “More car parking is not needed. This is 2019. We should not be building more car parks - we should be building more safe bike parks and spending any spare money on safer cycle routes to link to the university. And the city should remember what it keeps saying about being a liveable breathable city.”

Critics of the application claimed the scheme runs counter to the city’s Green Charter, which was launched last week in a bid to reduce air pollution and deter car use.

In April, protesters of all ages also marched from Swaythling Primary School to the Student Services Centre in University Road, to oppose the proposed four-deck car park for 714 vehicles next to the school.

In a document the University of Southampton said the proposed parking in Broadlands Road is to serve existing staff and is predominantly replacing the existing Broadlands car park.

“Although there is an increase in the number of car parking spaces

in the north east of the Campus, this is to absorb parking which will be

lost/displaced elsewhere on Campus as future development comes forward,” the university said in a document. Highway bosses raised no objections.

Among the conditions suggested is also to secure a phasing plan to ensure the development does not result in a net increase in car parking provision across the campus.