SCALED-DOWN plans for  a “monstrous” tower block in Southampton have sparked more than 150 objections.

A total of 158 letters of objections have been sent to Southampton City Council in regards to proposals to build a 24-storey tower block with 199 flats  in Ocean Way, Ocean Village.

As reported, the original plans - which sparked 187 objections- were for a 25-storey building, flanked by a 17-storey and 11-storey building either side, with 223 flats. 

But last month developer MDL Developments scaled down the scheme proposing a 24-storey building with two lower levels either side, one 13-storey and one seven-storey to accommodate a  total of 199 flats and 10 parking spaces.

Kristi Roger, development director at MDL Developments, defended the plans and stressed the need for more housing in Southampton.

But despite the latest amendments, the new proposals have sparked criticism.

Residents have again raised concerns over the impact the development would have on traffic, parking, the environment and over-development.

In a letter resident Jonathan Campkin said: “This is a total eyesore - why have a natural area of beauty that attracts tourists and sustains bars and pubs and then go and chuck a huge ugly monstrous building in the middle of it and ruin what you have.”

Resident Rachel Moody added: “I am shocked to see that the proposed development has been reduced in height by a ridiculously small amount. This would be a huge and dominating building.”

Some members of Pacific Close Residents Association have also raised concerns over the scheme and in a statement they said: “The number of objections this time round has brought the total to well over 300 which clearly shows the strength of feeling and local concern..”

They also complained about a lack of engagement with local residents and claimed that a letter sent by Southampton City Council to inform residents of the revised plans was dated April 9 but was received on April 18. “The deadline for comments and objections was originally set as 30 April so the statutory requirement of 21 days was ignored, and the last minute extension (on 30 April) by a fortnight has not been properly communicated to local people who had resigned themselves to a tokenistic process,” residents added.

Ms Roger said that despite the lockdown, under government advice the planning department at the city council continued to process planning applications. She said there are more than 900 parking spaces in the Ocean Car Park and added: “Ocean Village has evolved a great deal over the last 20 years, and it must continue to do so, if it wants to keep up with growth taking place in other regional cities.  All of MDL’s technical comments on parking, environment, traffic and local amenity are included in our application submissions.  "

Southampton City Council has been approached for comment but was unable to provide one before the paper went to press.