Southampton ready to bounce back

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The future is bright for Southampton with new plan for economic growth as planning approved for two landmark city centre developments


Southampton’s economic recovery from COVID-19 received a huge boost this week with the approval of both the Leisure World and Bargate developments at a meeting of the council’s Planning and Rights of Way Panel.

The council’s cabinet also approved a new ten-year strategy for the sustainable growth of the city’s economy. The Economic and Green Growth Strategy aims to build our economy for and with our communities, so that everyone benefits from improved opportunities and outcomes.

The strategy builds on Southampton’s ongoing economic growth and Green City agendas and sets out our plan to restore and renew our economy as a greener, fairer and healthier city.

Councillor Christopher Hammond, Leader of Southampton City Council, commented:

“After one of the most challenging year’s we’ve ever faced as a city, Southampton is ready to bounce back. These two new developments represent a combined investment of about £350m and create over 1,000 jobs during construction. Each proposal will provide much needed new homes and leisure facilities in the city and help improve connectivity, showcase historic walls, and green public spaces will be created that reflect Southampton’s incredible heritage.

Despite the difficulties we face, there is confidence in Southampton’s future and our city’s potential. Our new Economic Green Growth Strategy has been drafted in cooperation with our business community, partners in industry, and residents' feedback. Tackling the climate emergency, addressing air pollution and our sustainability principles are at its heart and providing good quality jobs for local people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and we have some significant challenges to overcome. But this week, we’ve taken a big step forwards on our plan towards building a greener, fairer and healthier city.”

Read the Economic and Green Growth Strategy

Development at Leisure World

The Leisure World development will very much look to celebrate Southampton’s industrial maritime heritage, and will provide improved linkages between the train station, Mayflower Quarter and the waterfront. The first of three Mayflower Quarter Masterplan sites to come forward, Leisure world responds to the need of creating a more attractive and more useable waterfront for all.

  • £250m investment in Southampton city centre
  • Cinema, casino, leisure and wellbeing facilities
  • 650 new homes
  • Two 150-room hotels
  • 80 serviced hotel apartments
  • Modern workspace
  • Vibrant public realm
  • 1000+ jobs
  • Much improved linkages within the city centre

The scheme will be built across four phases, beginning in 2022.

  • Phase 1 – Leisure and a 150-room hotel along West Quay Road
  • Phase 2 – Workspace along West Quay Road and 325 new homes
  • Phase 3 – A further 325 homes and the second 150-room hotel
  • Phase 4 – Health and wellness facilities

John Marsh, Director at Sovereign Centros, said: “We welcome this decision by the Planning and Rights of Way Panel to approve our proposals for the Leisure World site.

“There has never been a more important time to bring forward investment in our regional cities. Our plans seek to rejuvenate this strategic site by creating a mixed-use city centre destination that delivers one of the most significant redevelopments Southampton has seen in a long time. It will also help to ensure that the city can emerge in a strong post-pandemic position and in time act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the Mayflower Quarter.”

Development at Bargate Quarter

The Bargate Quarter will be a ‘linear park’ from The Bargate to Queensway, which aims to showcase the city’s historic walls, which were previously hidden from view by the now-demolished Bargate Shopping Centre. The ‘linear park’ is also a response to the changing attitudes of local people who wish to live greener, more sustainable lives by creating a space where all essential shops and services are within a safe walking distance.

  • New Bargate to Queensway ‘linear park’ to showcase city’s historic walls
  • Approximately 519 residential units
  • Approximately 2,515 square metres of retail
  • Hotel plans withdrawn in favour of new homes for local people
  • The developer is hoping to start during 2021 and aims to complete by 2025

Both developments have also included within their plans, strategies that fall in line with the councils Green City Charter commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and have set out their intention to use passive design and energy efficiency measures to reduce the carbon emissions.

James Burchell, Partner at Tellon Capital (developer Bargate Quarter), said: “Whilst Covid-19 has presented many challenges, we want to deliver a forward-looking scheme that helps Southampton to make a strong economic recovery from the pandemic.

“We are keen to promote healthier and greener living, and this scheme will deliver significant environmental benefits with a development that is sustainable and responds to the changing ways that people lead their lives.”

Bargate Quarter full planning application

Leisure World full planning application