A derelict former rest home could be transformed into 11 houses.

Proposals submitted to Southampton City Council outline the ambitious plans for 65-67 Portsmouth Road.

The building has been relentlessly hit by vandalism and arson in recent years.

But developers hope introducing a residential building will remove ‘a problem site’.

They said: “The site has, for an extended length of time, been causing severe security and amenity issues for neighbours.

“Subject to break-ins, arson, drug using, vandalism and general trespass, despite two CCTV towers, on-site security and boundary hoardings, the community have expressed great concern about this site and want to see it redeveloped.”

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The proposal is to demolish the two existing buildings – the former rest home and HMO – and build 11 smaller homes.

These would comprise eight three-bed homes and three two-bed homes.

Two parking spaces would be available per household and each home would have two storeys and a rear garden.

But due to the state of disrepair there would be ‘exceptional’ costs for demolition, removal of hazardous substances, and clearing of overgrown vegetation.

It is hoped demolishing and building on the site will prevent attracting anti-social behaviour.

Objections have been made to the plans, including from Natural England.

In the consultation response, a spokesperson said: “The planning proposal, as currently submitted, is likely to lead to an increase in recreational disturbance in the New Forest designated sites via increasing visitor numbers.

"And there is not enough information to demonstrate that the impacts will be mitigated.”

One person in support said: "While this does seem potentially to be an overdevelopment of the site and the loss of trees is regrettable, on balance given the amount of time this site has been vacant, the condition of the existing buildings, and the ASB the vacant site has attracted, I support this application.

"While perhaps 8 houses rather than 11 would allow more trees to be saved and more space for those who will live here, I have not seen the numbers so cannot provide an informed view on the viability of a less dense development and there is certainly a lot of support from nearby residents for this application."

A decision is yet to be made by Southampton City Council.