A NEW hotel has been included in revamped plans for a major city centre development, the Echo can reveal.

Bosses behind Southampton’s flagship Bargate Quarter development have lodged fresh proposals for the prominent city centre site.

They include stripping out all of the student accommodation from the plans and replacing it with a 240 bedroom hotel and new flats.

It comes as bosses behind the £100m project have promised to change out-dated-signs on the site which claim the development will ready in Autumn 2019.

That’s despite no building work having been started on the site, which once hosted the now-demolished Bargate Shopping Centre.

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But developers say they hope to finally begin building the much-anticipated Bargate Quarter early next year, if their amended plans get the green light.

James Burchell, partner of Tellon Capital, the developers behind the Bargate Quarter, said:“We’ve been working closely with the City Council to improve the scheme to create a development which will enhance the city centre taking into account changes in Southampton’s dynamics and delivers on everyone’s vision.

“We’ve removed the student housing and instead introduced a hotel and are delighted to have secured terms with an operator.

“We’ve used the last twelve months to carry out significant archaeology investigations and have unearthed some important findings.

“We have also amended the scheme after listening to critics, to ensure the delivery of a truly first class scheme for the city.

“As soon as this latest planning application is approved we hope to make progress with the development on site early next year.”

The ambitious multi-million plans were first approved by Southampton City Council in January 2017.

The plans included the demolition of the failed Bargate Centre, opened in 1989, which developers want replace with a “terraced garden street” linking the 12th century Bargate monument to Queensway.

The initial plans included 152 private flats (63 x one bedroom and 89 x two bedroom), 80,000 square feet of shops with five commercial kiosks and accommodation for 451 students.

Work started in November 2017 with the gradual demolition of the Bargate Centre.

But work was dramatically halted in February this year after construction workers unearthed rare archaeological finds on the site.

The finds from the excavation, conducted by Southampton City Council Archaeology Unit, included a 14th century stone cannonball, a 15th century jar which once held liquid mercury, and a 17th century plate with a bare-breasted woman depicted on it.

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Now the work has been completed, developers hope to get the Bargate Quarter back on track.

Through their new proposals, developers hope to strip out all 451 student rooms – which they say are “no longer viable due to diminishing demand and over supply of accommodation”.

In their place developers hope to add 100 new homes and the new 250 bed hotel.

Bosses behind the Bargate Quarter say they already have a client interested in the hotel, though they would not reveal the identity of the company.

Developers also hope to add another 32 homes by increasing the size of two planned housing blocks, while the plans still include 24 retail and restaurant units.

The city’s medieval town walls will remain as the centrepiece of the new development.

The amended plans have been praised by Labour's Bargate councillor John Noon, who recently met with developers.

He said: “There were concerns among some residents that the plans were not going to go ahead because no development work was going on.

“But now there is a new application it looks like things are going to plan.

“I’m pleased they have removed the student accommodation and put in more residential and the hotel because I think it will bring more people into that part of the city and help revive the east side of the Bargate area.”

However Conservative parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, Royston Smith, said he remained sceptical.

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He said: “I am not surprised with the student accommodation because we are either near or at saturation point for student accommodation in the city.

“I’m still cynical about the retail and leisure (restaurant and bars).

“I think it is high risk for the developers. We already have the Cultural Quarter, West Quay, Ocean Village, the Jetty site and now the council’s emerging plans for the Toys R Us site.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat candidate, Liz Jarvis, called for affordable or social housing to be included in the plans.

The Bargate Quarter is one of the major regeneration projects in the city centre, alongside Nelson Gate, near Southampton Central Station.

Those plans include a high rise block, hotel and office space.

Earlier this month, much-anticipated plans for the Mayflower Quarter were revealed.

Homes, shops, offices and leisure attractions could be built in the proposed area which stretches from the station to Mayflower Park - including the site opposite to Ikea and currently occupied by Leisure World.