PLANS for Southampton’s huge redevelopment of the Leisure World site have taken another step forward, with a start date being announced.

Tonight, in a behind-closed-doors meeting, city council leaders have approved the commercial terms for the scheme, which moves the proposals on towards an early 2023 start, they have announced.

According to council documents, tonight's meeting included talks of a new main leaseholder for the council-owned land which will "produce an enhanced ground rent income for the council". Papers add that the authority "needs this type of private investment to support recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and grow the local economy".

The plans include 650 homes, a 150-room hotel, a new cinema, office space, and a promise to create more than 1,000 jobs.

It will be built across different phases on the council-owned land, with the first phase expected to be completed and operating during 2024-25, a statement released this evening added.

However, any details of costs and fees received or paid out by the council towards the scheme, or additional financial information, has not been released. The press and public were excluded from attending the meeting.


Plans for Leisure World site in Southampton approved

Daily Echo: Leisure World.

In additional documents published by the council, officers say the undisclosed amount of money will “facilitate comprehensive redevelopment of the site, bring in substantial inward investment, support the emerging Mayflower Quarter Masterplan and promote regeneration and economic development in the city centre".

As part of a statement released this evening, the council added that it would be working with the developer, Sovereign Centros, to include the use of latest building and low-carbon technologies and significant ‘greening of the public realm’.

Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth at Southampton City Council, said: “Leisure World is a key development site within Southampton and is particularly important to support recovery from the pandemic as we grow the local economy and get Southampton moving.

“Through this inward investment, the Leisure World development not only creates a large number of jobs during the six to eight years of construction, it also creates many new permanent jobs once the scheme is completed.

“It’s fantastic news that the terms of the conditional development agreement and new head-lease has been approved as this enables all parties to progress the scheme forward and I look forward to seeing a start on site.”

John Marsh, Director at Sovereign Centros, said: “This agreement with Southampton City Council is an important part of the process that will unlock substantial investment in the city. It will ensure the rejuvenation of this strategic site, which represents one of the most significant redevelopments Southampton has seen in a long time.”