PLANS to demolish a landmark building in Southampton have been unveiled.

The Solent Flour Mills on the Western Dock is set to be demolished, it has been revealed. 

The news comes as last month city councillor Sarah Bogle called on the Associated British Ports (ABP) to engage with residents and work with civic chiefs as she claimed ABP was planning to demolish the building once heralded the beginning of a new commercial life for Southampton Docks. 

At the time ABP did not confirm or deny the claims but said port bosses were working on plans for the site.

Now it has submitted a planning application to Southampton City Council.

Cllr Bogle has renewed her call on port bosses to find alternatives.

But in an official document ABP said: “ABP is proposing to optimise the amount of ground level storage within the Western Docks by demolishing the redundant Solent Flour Mill buildings. Activity at the Port has increased significantly over recent years. Demand for port land is significant and ABP is increasingly finding it difficult to accommodate the demands of customers because of the constraints imposed by a finite amount of land within the Port estate.”

In 2018 Hovis said a review of its milling business found that the Southampton Mill was “significantly loss-making” and it proposed to cease operations at the site. 

In its planning application to the city council ABP said "some machinery has now been moved from the building".

“Given the specialist nature of the activity that took place within the facility, re-purposing the building is not financially viable or feasible. It is, therefore, proposed to demolish the existing structures to enable the site to be used more effectively to support existing port operations,” it added.

In a report ABP also said it anticipates that the demolition work of the building will be undertaken from a date yet to be determined in the first quarter of  2020 with works expected to take 40 weeks to complete.

Cllr Bogle, who is also heritage champion at the city council, objected to the proposals.

She added: “I would like ABP to consider alternatives that use either all or perhaps part of the most historic aspects of the building. It would be a shame to lose it.”