A controversial 'apartment-hotel' on a busy junction may finally be given the go-ahead after being refused twice by Southampton City Council.

The 20-bed development on the junction of Hill Lane and Winchester Road in Bassett aims to provide temporary accommodation of up to three months to guests and will replace a building that has been vacant for many years.

It will have its own gym for guests, cooking facilities in every room – and a cafe which will be open to the public.

The applicant Saber Development Investments Ltd and agent Luken Beck say that the development will be good for workers who have come into the city to work at the nearby Southampton General Hospital and the University of Southampton.

The application was first refused back in November 2022 due to concerns over parking. The development had 34 rooms and only eight parking spaces. The worry was it would cause cars to overspill onto surrounding roads. It received 100 objections at that time.

The applicant tried again, reducing the number of rooms to 26 and adding one more parking space – but this was again rejected for the same reasons in June 2023.

Now, the applicant has decreased the number of rooms to 20 and added one more parking space again – making it 10.

Planning officers said: “The previous reasons for refusal are judged to have been successfully addressed and the positive aspects of the scheme now outweigh the negative.”

However, this latest application has still garnered 39 objections.

One objector stands by their original concern. They said: “Once again I strongly object to the application for an apart-hotel on this site.

“The revised design is only slightly smaller and is still too large, too high and is completely out of character with the surrounding buildings.

“Parking is a huge concern and an issue in this immediate area and this type of development is just not appropriate for this site as previously stated in prior objections.

“The Bassett Neighbourhood Plan was set up and adopted by the council into planning policy to prevent overdevelopment such as this and having refused planning twice already would assume that this application will also be refused.”

The plans also gained 26 representations in support.

One supporter said: “I have lived in Bassett for many years and would welcome such an innovative development that can only help with the chronic shortage of short-term accommodation for NHS staff.

“This plot has been an eyesore for a while now and has been used as a dumping ground for fly-tippers. It will be a pleasure to see it tidied up and utilised in this way.

“I fully support this proposal.”

Previously, the applicant suggested the development could make use of the nearby Outdoor Sports Centre car park, which was at that time looking likely to be developed.

In August this year, planning permission for a new 275-space car park was given to the Outdoor Sports Centre, which planning officers say will ‘reduce pressure on local roads’.

The city council’s planning panel will decide on the apart-hotel on Tuesday, November 21 and it is recommended for approval.