PLANS for a new hotel and flats in Southampton have been unveiled.

A six-storey 165-bedroom hotel and a seven-storey building with 27 flats could be built at 24 - 32 Canute Road in Ocean Village.

The news comes as Whitbread Group Plc - the hospitality company that owns Premier Inn - has submitted its plans to Southampton City Council.

According to the proposals, the hotel would be operated by Whitbread and it would be the second in the country that the company would open under the concept brand of ‘ZIP’ by Premier Inn.

This would provide customers with compact modern rooms and it is expected to appeal to customers travelling on a tight budget, the company said.

If the plans will be approved, the existing four empty buildings at the site in Canute Road will be demolished to make way for the hotel as well as 13 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom flats.

The number of jobs set to be created has not been revealed yet but it is expected that staff members will be recruited through local job centres.

The company said the site would operate “as a car-free development”.

According to the plans, alternative transport will be promoted and the applicant is also aiming to reduce the number of staff and guests travelling by car and to increase the number of staff walking and cycling to the site.

The new hotel would have a new restaurant and cycle storages while a pedestrian path will be created between Canute Road and Albert Road.

Derek Griffin, Whitbread’s head of acquisitions in London and across the south of England, said: “We are continuing to trial ZIP by Premier Inn following the launch of our first hotel in Cardiff in 2019. Customer feedback on the format is positive, and with a year of trading behind us at Cardiff we are looking to trial the brand in a central location. Ocean Village in Southampton, with its strong leisure offer and proximity to the Port and Universities, is an excellent location to do that and we’re hopeful our second ZIP by Premier Inn hotel will trade well there.”

Bargate councillors Sarah Bogle and John Noon welcomed the news. Cllr Bogle described the development as positive.

She said: “Overall I think this is a positive development for this part of the city and could bring more footfall into the Ocean Village area as well as create more jobs. I hope can get some investment into green city type measures as well in terms of minimising traffic impact.”

Cllr Noon added: “I do feel this development will be beneficial for the city and the Ocean Village area. Need to look at traffic flows on Canute Road and perhaps better public transport link to the area. Looks good for jobs too and could help improve the environment for a greener city."