NEW plans for a casino as part of a major development whose future hangs in the balance have been unveiled.

Aspers Universal Limited has renewed its commitment to open a casino in Southampton as part of the redevelopment of the derelict Royal Pier.

The company is asking civic chiefs to re-new its original provisional statement, which will give an indication of the likelihood of obtaining a full licence once new premises will be built by Mayflower Park.

But some critics said permission should not be granted as there is no “imminent prospect of a building”.

It comes as plans to turn the waterfront into a hotel, a casino, 730 homes and a gourmet market were scrapped in August this year as Southampton City Council ended an agreement signed in 2014 with developer RPW Southampton Ltd.

The council had previously said it will continue to explore the potential for development plans.

Now in an official statement Derek Playford of Aspers Universal Limited said: “As the council is only too well aware, we have unfortunately been unable to progress our large casino due to circumstances entirely beyond our control. Specifically, the construction of our large casino is wholly dependent upon the reclamation from the sea of the land upon which it will be built and that work has not yet commenced. We wish to assure the council that we remain as committed as ever to this ambitious venture and very much believe that we will still have the opportunity of delivering this large casino to Southampton and helping drive forward the Royal Pier scheme as a whole.”

But the new application has sparked some objections.

The Old Town Community Forum said members oppose to the development of a casino on “moral and economic grounds”.

In a letter they said: “The issue which does affect the extension is our total incomprehension as to how an extension can be given to a proposal which was linked to the development of the Royal Pier Waterfront which has now been shelved.

” The Southampton Commons & Parks Protection Society (SCAPPS)raised concerns over the suitability of a casino near a children play area and the park. The application will be discussed by the Licensing Committee at the city council today.

The applicant was approached for comment but was unable to provide one before the paper went to press.