PLANS to build more than 700 homes across Southampton have been given the green light.

City councillors have approved plans for 726 affordable homes in the city as part of a £144m investment.

The council said it will deliver 100% affordable homes in a combination of social, affordable and shared ownership schemes.

Potential sites for the homes have been identified and will be disclosed as planning and design stages develop, civic chiefs said.

Daily Echo:

An artist's impression of plans for new homes in Townhill Park

The proposals were approved in a behind-closed-doors full council meeting held by civic chiefs at Southampton City Council last night.

City council leader Christopher Hammond, pictured below, has described the move as a "the boldest council home building programme in a generation".

Daily Echo: Councillor Chris Hammond

The investment is set to create 1,089 jobs  and it is part of the 1,000 council homes programme pledged by Labour councillors in 2018.

So far 274 homes have either been delivered or are under construction.

These include homes at Townhill Park, Potters Court and the former Oakland’s Community School site, pictrued below, in Lordshill.

Daily Echo: Oaklands School

The remaining 726 are expected to be delivered by 2025.

Cllr Dan Fitzhenry, leader of the Conservatives, below, said he welcomes new homes for the city.

Daily Echo:

"But these homes should have been started eight years ago by Labour. We have seen our city's estates like Townhill Park left half demolished for years now," he said.

But Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for homes, hit back and said: "Southampton's Labour Council has already started to deliver on its commitment to deliver much needed homes, with families already moved into places like Townhill Park.

"Disappointed the local Conservatives chose not to support Labour's ambitious plans."

She said the scheme will deliver the next generation of council housing "with a real focus on affordability, design and energy efficiency".

Each of the individual schemes is now set to be developed in detail.

Daily Echo:

The Potter's Court development in Southampton

Civic chiefs said local communities and other organisations close to the sites will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

Kim Ayling, chair of residents group SO18 Big Local - which is collaborating with the council to help regenerate Townhill Park -  said: “This bold commitment and investment from Southampton City Council is very welcome.

"Here in Townhill Park we have already seen some homes being delivered, and we’re excited to be working closely with the council to ensure the delivery of more much-needed, quality council homes in the area, that we hope will enrich our communities and way of life.”

The projects will be funded through a mix of funding streams including borrowing, income from the Right to Buy scheme and shared ownership properties, plus grants.