The Environmental Agency has objected to the redevelopment of Town Quay, saying that areas of proposed commercial space could flood causing a “risk to life”.

The agency has written to Southampton City Council and said the £200m proposal - set to transform the waterfront - does not fully consider how people will be kept safe from flood hazards.

The agency says the plans, which include a ‘landmark’ nine-storey luxury hotel and four residential tower blocks with 460 homes, also do not currently explain how the people and properties would be affected in the event of extreme flooding.

READ MORE: Progress for Town Quay revamp plan - with luxury hotel and four tower blocks

It also highlights issues inside the proposed commercial properties, in flooding of up to 1.3 metres which “poses a risk to life”.

For both the commercial space and the hotel, the agency said there is not enough evidence that the public would be able to escape from the units in the event of a flood.

It has advised the authority to reject the plans until the issues are addressed.

A flood risk assessment commissioned by developer Nicolas James Group said: "It is acknowledged that the commercial units would need to be closed, evacuated and made secure upon receipt of a flood warning such that there would be no occupants present in the event of a flood."

It adds that "as the flood risk is tidal in nature, appropriate advance warning would be sufficient to allow for safe evacuation of the site".

A statement submitted with the planning application said: "The proposed development will significantly improve the quality of visitor facilities within the city, creating a new destination with food and drink uses as well as five-star hotel with restaurants, conference
and spa facilities.

"The marina will be enlarged and reconfigured with protection by new breakwaters.

"Discussions have been undertaken with the Associated British Ports, Red Funnel, Harbour Master and other stakeholders in the development of the proposals to ensure that the scheme is compatible with operations in the surrounds."