Southampton City Vision will be our new Local Plan, a document that will set out the future development of new homes, work spaces, infrastructure and facilities across the city over the next 20 years and beyond.
We are pleased to share the results of our first consultation which took place from 10 February 2020 and was originally due to end on 19 April 2020 but was extended to 31 May 2020 due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This consultation has provided us with a wealth of information about the priorities, ideas and aspirations that individuals, businesses and organisations have for both the city centre and local neighbourhoods of Southampton.
Over 3,000 responses were received, the vast majority (2,670) being made via the on-line survey, and over 270 attended the community events that took place. Of those who responded there is an under representation of young adults, in particular those aged 18-24 years. There is also a low number of responses from those representing a business or organisation.
Summary of results
The consultation was framed around six key challenges/themes. Of these, ‘environment and climate change’ was considered to be the most important, closely followed by ‘growth and investment’ and ‘getting around’. Respondents were also asked to identify priorities both in their local area and the city centre. The same three came out as most important locally and for the city centre:
- Parks, open spaces, nature and conservation
- Reducing air pollution and improving air quality
- Access to frequent and reliable public transport
Over 3,100 individual comments were received through the on-line survey, with further responses received by email. In general, the comments support and help us to understand the results of the structured questions. Here are some of the key messages:
- People want to have more sustainable and environmentally friendly options, particularly when it comes to transport, neither public transport or cycle/walking routes are adequate to deter the use of cars
- Some felt that more radical decisions should be made such as the city centre being completely car free
- Many respondents expressed concerns that increased development could put pressure on the city’s parks and green spaces. A Local Plan must protect these areas
- People recognise the importance of the port but are concerned about how this is contributing to air pollution
- There is a desire to have more access to the waterfront. This is a fundamental part of the city’s identity and heritage, but Southampton doesn’t feel like a waterfront city
- There is a clear demand for local highstreets and people feel it is important to support business start-ups and local independent businesses. Some feel that Southampton has too many chains and needs to be more individual and ensure money is going back into the local economy
- A large number of comments were made about the ‘state’ of the city; rubbish, poor pavements, homelessness and general upkeep and look of the city. People feel it is tired and run down and people lack pride in their local area. This is not the right impression to give to visitors and there is potential to make Southampton a destination, particularly with the cruise ship passengers
- Most felt that adopting space standards was important, but this also extended to outside space
- Whilst people understand the need to build high rise buildings, given the pressure on space, few are in favour of very high rise blocks. However lower rise of perhaps 4-6 storeys with good outdoor space seemed more acceptable
- Many feel the city has great potential but there is a need to be bold and take a different approach, at present there is a slight feeling of despair and little faith that change will happen
Click the button below to view the full response report:
Stage One Consultation – Response Report
The consultation also comprised a ‘Call for Sites’ (CfS), a process in which people are invited to provide details for any sites in the city that they would like be considered for allocation within the local plan. 25 sites were submitted to us as part of this process and all will now go through rigorous assessment as part of the Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA). The SLAA will assess the development potential of different sites in the city (including those submitted to us via the CfS) and will focus on the availability, suitability and viability of these sites. The results of the SLAA will ultimately identify the final allocations for the new Local Plan. A draft version of the SLAA will be published at the next stage of consultation.
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