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You are here:home > Customer Services > Gateway


Gateway one-stop-shop

Gateway is the council's one-stop-shop for face to face service. It is located very close to the Civic Centre. It faces the Southampton Guildhall building in the area known as 'Guildhall Square'. (On the site of the old C&A Building)

Gateway deals with enquiries about the following council services: Allotments, Council tax, Smartcities cards, Highways permits, Homelessness, Housing Allocations, Housing benefits, Parking fines and permits, Planning, Building control, Electoral registration, Trading standards

If you have an enquiry about a council service that is not listed above we will try to put you in touch with the service area concerned.

Gateway (and cash office) opening times

Our busiest days are Mondays or the day after a bank holiday. The lunch period, between 12 noon and 2.00pm may also be busy. Please note we are closed on all statutory bank holidays and weekends.

Opening hours:

Counter ServiceCash Office
Monday8:30am - 5:30pm8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday8:30am - 5:30pm8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday9:30am - 5:30pm9:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday8:30am - 7:00pm8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday8:30am - 5:30pm8:30am - 4:00pm

Gateway service information

1. Facilities

•     Free phone access to any council service
•     Self service area with access to services on-line
•     Appointments can be booked in advance to discuss your enquiry in a private room
•     Call back cards are available if you are in a hurry
•     Baby changing facilities are available.

2. Services for customers with specific needs

We have been commended by ‘Southampton Action for Access’ for our approach towards accessibility for customers with disabilities.

  • The Gateway office at One Guildhall Square is located on the ground floor.

  • If you require a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter please tell us in advance so we can arrange this, our contact details are shown below.

  • We have hearing loops at all desks in Gateway

  • If you have difficulty standing in a queue please inform a member of staff at the enquiries desk 

  • An accessible toilet is available.

  • Arrangements for interpretation/translation

3. Telephone enquiries and appointments

Please note that Gateway does not deal with telephone enquiries.  If you wish to book an appointment, please telephone 023 8083 2166. We offer 30 minutes appointments on most days except Mondays between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

4. Parking

The nearest car park to Gateway is the Civic Centre forecourt: (SO14 7LY)

18 parking bays plus 9 dedicated blue badge bays and a motorcycle parking area. Parking charges: weekdays up to half hour 10p; up to 2 hours costs £2.80. 

Parking information pages

5. Planning (Development Control) enquiries

Planning officers are available by appointment only: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10am - 1pm

If you have an appointment with a planning officer, please let the staff at the enquiries desk know.  We will contact the officer concerned and ask you to wait. As our planning officers are not located in the Gateway office, there is sometimes a small wait for the officer to arrive.

6. Planning - file requests

If you want to view an historic planning file please check the Public Access files first.  If unavailable here, then requests for Planning files can either be made by phoning 023 8083 3006 or through Gateway by e-mail: .  File requests will be taken up until 6pm on weekdays.  The file will be available in Gateway three days later, from 8:30 am in the morning.  For example if you make your request on Monday the file will be available from 8:30 am on Thursday morning.  You will need to provide us with photographic identification like a passport or driving licence before the files can be released and this will be retained until you return the file. 

Current applications which have not yet been decided on can be viewed straight away on-line at the following web page Public Access

If you have detailed enquiries you will need to see the duty planning officer.  Please ask a staff member to help you. If you know in advance you want an appointment with the duty planning officer please ring 023 8083 3006.


7. Our Staff

We have a highly trained team of customer service professionals and all enquiries are dealt with in the strictest confidence.   We cannot guarantee that you will see the same person each time but you will always know the name of the person you are dealing with.  We will issue you with a receipt, giving the reason for your visit and the advice you were given.  

Our Corporate Customer Charter explains what you can expect when you use Gateway.

We aim to continuously improve our service to you and welcome any comments, compliments or complaints you may have.   Please let us know by completing a Your Views Count form. 

8. The Cash Office

The Cash Office receives payments for:

  • Council Tax
  • Business Rates
  • Housing Rents
  • Overpayments
  • Parking Fines
  • Council Invoices
  • Bulk Refuse
  • Immigration Payments
  • Local Education Authority Penalties.

Contact information