A NEW casino could be built in Southampton as part of a major scheme that would transform the waterfront.

City bosses have granted provisional permission to Aspers Universal Limited for a casino that would be part of the Royal Pier development.

It comes as the company asked 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.

Now the Licensing Committee at Southampton City Council has backed Aspers Universal Limited’s request.

In a statement the city council said: “After careful consideration of all of the evidence the provisional statement has been extended for a further three years to see if the large casino, as originally set out in the initial application, can be progressed. “

It comes as earlier this week the authority unveiled proposals to transform the area between Southampton Central train station and the Mayflower Park.

The detailed plans are yet to be drawn up but the city council said they will include the Royal Pier.

As previously reported, plans to turn the waterfront into a hotel, a casino, 730 homes and a gourmet market were scrapped in August this year as the city council ended an agreement signed in 2014 with developer RPW Southampton Ltd.

Aspers Universal Limited had previously said it had been unable to progress  with the plans for a casino due to circumstances “entirely beyond its control”.

But in a statement sent to the city council the company had stressed that it remains “as committed as ever to this ambitious venture”. 

When asked to comment on the decision made by the committee, the company added: “We can confirm that the Licensing Committee have agreed the extension of the provisional statement”.

As previously reported, the application had sparked some concerns between residents who objected to the plans  saying permission should not be given no “imminent prospect of a building”.

On Thursday the city council confirmed its commitment to the regeneration of the Royal Pier and Mayflower Park as part of the Mayflower Quarter scheme.

The authority said a master planning team will be appointed in January next year and will be asked to prepare a master plan for the Mayflower Quarter up to 2040.