AN “EYESORE” could finally be transformed into the area’s newest student quarters as plans were unveiled to Southampton City Council.

Land at Shirley Road, Freemantle, has been earmarked as a plot where three-storey student accommodation could be built.

The redevelopment of the site, which has sat unused and derelict since 2012, would see six six-bedroom cluster flats, with external alterations made to the existing building at 63 Shirley Road.

Freemantle ward councillors have expressed their approval at the plans, which if approved by the city council would provide rooms for 36 students.

Cllr Dave Shields said: “That patch of land has been left derelict for an awfully long time so it’s pleasing that the developers are choosing to do something with that area.

“Obviously details in the application need to be checked and we have to make sure it doesn’t become an overdevelopment because Shirley Road is becoming quite densely populated.”

Cllr Jeremy Moulton added: “The site has been boarded up for many years and has become a complete eyesore for residents, attracting fly-tipping and endless complaints about it. I’m really pleased to see that it could be bought back into use. We need to have a look at the detail because there are issues with parking but in principle it’s good to see some activity taking place there.”

The application was submitted by Sarisbury Green-based firm Knight Architectural Design, which said its unnamed client was forced to demolish the 59 and 61 Shirley Road in 2012 as it had become structurally unsafe.

The architects added in its application: “Research by CBRE [a property company] has found the combined university population in the city is almost 31,000 and only 7% presently live in private halls. “Approximately a third live in HMOs and it is estimated that over 15,000 students would like the opportunity to live in purpose built private accommodation. “This proposal would equate to approximately six family houses being either returned to family use or not being threatened with conversion.

“ The scheme would focus of safety & security – providing high specification cluster units where 6 students with their own ensuite bedrooms – shared communal lounge/kitchens per unit.”

The application is now being considered.