PLANS to give Totton town centre a £22m facelift could be doomed, residents have been warned.

Campaigners say a huge question mark is hanging over proposals to transform the main shopping area - dubbed one of the worst in Hampshire.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the county council has missed this year's deadline for applying for government funding for the scheme. The bid will not now be made until next summer at the earliest, raising fears that a new-look town centre will never materialise.

Fierce criticism of the county council was voiced at a meeting of Totton and Eling Town Council.

Former council chairman David Harrison said: "We went through a tortuous process of consultation. We also received assurances from our county councillors that they were monitoring the officers' work and would make sure the bid went through.

"I can't believe we have been failed so badly. Can we be confident that this scheme will ever go ahead?"

Frank Bright, county councillor for Totton North, said: "No one is more disappointed at this week's announcement than I am. Everyone is in agreement that Totton has lost out. We are all concerned about the latest developments and will try to get some answers."

In a statement, county council leader Ken Thornber said the authority had consulted the Department for Transport and intended to make its submission next year after carrying out more work on the scheme.

Edith Randall, county councillor for Totton South, stressed that the authority had already obtained the cash it needed to fund improvements to Rumbridge Street.