ONE of Southampton Old Town's last remaining eyesores could be set for a radical makeover.

A multi-million-pound scheme is on the cards which could transform the city's redundant Telephone House building in the High Street into 128 luxury apartments.

The huge redevelopment plan would see the former telephone exchange - which has been vacant since the 1980s - converted into an apartment block and offices.

The scheme would also see a seven-storey extension to the existing building facing Briton Street, with a further six-storey extension to the High Street portion of the site.

The resulting building would consist of 42 one-bedroom flats, 76 two-bedroom apartments and ten three-bedroom units.

An information and interpretation area would exist on the ground floor, with a restaurant and external dining area if the project is given the green light by members of Southampton City Council's Planning and Rights of Way Panel next Tuesday.

The huge project is the latest scheme to come before city planning bosses with the aim of transforming the Old Town area.

Last month, city planning chiefs approved a project which will see four blocks of flats built in the High Street, creating a so-called French Quarter.

At ground floor level, the converted "Telephone House" building would have parking spaces for 59 cars, with a further 28 parking spaces in a first-floor 'decking area'.

A cycle store for 121 bikes would also be incorporated into the building.

A total of 149 neighbouring properties have been told about the scheme but so far only four letters of objection have been received.

Objectors cite the high density of the proposed development and a lack of parking provision in the current plans. They say the scheme is insensitive to the archaeological heritage in the area.

However, city planning officers say that converting the existing building would minimise the impact to the Old Town's history, according to their report on the project which is due to go before planning bosses.

The architect for the project, Ulysses Sengupta from London based John Thompson and Partners, said the design respected the historical sensitivities of the site.

He added that balconies had been added to the flats to ensure that the street frontage was broken up.

He said: "Offices have been placed on the ground floor so there is always life there. Basically, the idea is to use the scale of the street because it is near a historical area."