NEW flats are set to replace a derelict Southampton building as plans have been approved for work to start.

A part three- and part four-storey building with five one-bedroom flats is to be built at 182 – 184 Bitterne Road West near the junction with Athelstan Road.

The broken and rotting building currently on the site, which still adorns the name of hairdressers A Head of Time which it used to house, will be demolished.

The new flats will then provide specialist supported accommodation for adults with learning disabilities and will be managed by Southampton City Council and  Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group.

The proposals were given the go-ahead by the Planning and Rights of Way Panel at the city council last night.

Speaking at the meeting city council employee Kate Dench,  who works as a senior commissioning manager for adults with learning disabilities, said: “This scheme supports our strategic intention to develop more supported housing in the city for people with learning disabilities. It will support independence.”

The flats would be on the upper floors of the building while a communal lounge,  staff office, bin and cycle storage would be on the ground floor.

As reported, a number of concerns were raised over the design of the building, its height and the impact of the development on traffic.

But Gareth Jenkins, architect for the scheme, said contractors  will not be able to park in nearby roads and residents of the new flats will not be using cars themselves.

Talking to the panel he said: “Overall we believe that this scheme addresses the concerns of the previous proposals and does result in a significant enhancement to this corner site. The proposed building will not be diverging from the character of the area.”

Planners previously said the plans tabled by A Head of Time Estates Ltd – were “unlikely” to result in a “significant” increase in traffic.

They stressed that the council is committed to providing “high-quality residential environments for all citizens of the city including for people with disabilities”.

The plans were unanimously approved.