A HERTIAGE charity has hit out at plans to transform Southampton's iconic former gasworks site.

Plans were submitted in the spring seeking permission to demolish the two structures in Britannia Road to make way for 403 new flats.

The plans were submitted to Southampton City Council by Developer Hawkstone Properties Ltd and detail proposals for 166 one-bed flats and 237 two-bed flats.

They also include shared spaces such as a library, a gym, a work/study space, and roof-top gardens spread between a 21-storey tower and three smaller blocks.

All of the flats would be for rental and would not be available to buy.

But the plans have been met with a number of concerns.

The City of Southampton Society has objected and said the location is "not a suitable site for residential development".

Daily Echo: A CGI of how the gas works site could look.A CGI of how the gas works site could look.

Simon Reynier raised concerns on behalf of the society.

In his objection he said: "We consider this to be a case of over-development, adversely affected by noise, traffic and pollution and built too close to the site boundaries."

He added: We are again disappointed that no family or affordable housing is being provided.

"The site is more suited to commercial or industrial development."

He said noise and pollution levels in the area would be unacceptably high due to the close proximity to Northam Road, the branch railway to the docks, St Mary's Stadium and Britannia Road.

He added the site would be isolated due to lack of local shops, restaurants, bars or cafes needed to "support a new community of young professionals".

The society also asked for details of individual flat sizes.

However, some have supported the plans, such as Dr Karl Fitt of Channel Way.

In an open letter to the council, he said: "It's important that the largest economic city on the South Coast looks modern and vibrant, particularly from the railway line, where the gateway to Southampton currently looks poor (Toys R Us, Frobisher and Norwich House).

"My concern is that unlike Basingstoke and Woking, Southampton appears to have adopted a low rise approach.

"My view is that this development should be less dense and in fact taller... No doubt councillors will give this the dreaded "civic haircut" which will then remove soar and any element of a "gateway"."

A spokesperson from Hawkstone Properties Ltd said: "The proposal has been informed by extensive pre-application engagement with Southampton City Council and local stakeholders resulting in a high quality build to rent offer which would be a ‘catalyst’ for the regeneration of the wider area, creating a landmark development at the gateway to the city centre with a design that reflects the history of the site. 

"The planning application is supported by a range of assessments and reports produced by various specialist consultants to inform the proposals. 

"The scheme presents an exciting opportunity for Hawkstone Properties (Southampton) Ltd to be investing in Southampton to match Southampton City Council’s aspirations for Itchen Riverside."