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You are here:home > Environment > Future Southampton > City Centre > VIP projects > Royal Pier Waterfront

Royal Pier Waterfront

Royal Pier illustration March 2014

The development of Royal Pier is one step closer, since the signing of the Development Agreement by all partners in March 2014. The next stage of the process will involve public consultation and the preparation and submission of a planning application for a comprehensive mixed-use development of the site, with which RPW (Southampton) Limited will now proceed.

This £400 million development will transform the landscape of Southampton’s waterfront, showcasing the international face of the city as a great place to live, work and enjoy. The waterfront will be revitalised, with a new and extended Mayflower Park, speciality shops, offices, leisure venues, apartments and waterside attractions.

These will all be linked by pedestrian promenades and piers – a celebration of the city’s maritime spirit. Development of the site, which is owned by Southampton City Council, the Crown Estate and Associated British Ports, will provide a permanent and improved home for the Southampton Boat Show.

RPW (Southampton) Limited (a joint venture company owned by Morgan Sindall Investments Limited (“MSIL”) and funders Lucent Group (“Lucent”)) is the developer for this major development.

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Royal Pier Waterfront FAQs

1. When will the project start?

The Royal Pier Waterfront project has started. Legal agreements between all the landowners and the developer RPW (Southampton) Ltd have been signed.  There are many planning, design and legal elements to be completed before any work on site can commence. 

The current programme assumes planning applications will be submitted early in 2015.  In terms of works starting on site, land reclamation and the relocation of the Red Funnel ferry facility into the Port would happen first. The current programme assumes that this would start in 2016 with construction scheduled to start on the first buildings in 2017. 

2. When will the project finish?

The Royal Pier project would be a multi phased development constructed over a 10 – 15 year period.  At this stage there is no final completion date. 

3. Will there be public consultation for Royal Pier?

Yes. Extensive consultation will take place with the general public, local interest groups, and relevant statutory bodies before any planning applications are submitted.

4. What happens next in the plans for Royal Pier?

The next stage of the process will involve survey work being undertaken by the developer RPW (Southampton) Ltd and public consultation.  Following this, the developer will prepare planning applications for the comprehensive mixed-use development of the site. 

5. What will be included in the Royal Pier plans?

The current proposals for Royal Pier Waterfront include:
  • Offices
  • Hotels
  • Leisure 
  • Cafes / bars / restaurants 
  • Retail 
  • An enhanced and extended Mayflower Park
  • Inner harbour 
  • Continuous waterfront promenade 
  • A new home for the Southampton Boat Show 
  • Relocation of the Red Funnel facilities

6. Will there be a casino?

The city’s casino licensing process commenced on 1st April 2014, with initial applications from potential operators due by the end of June.  All applications will be advertised publicly and those who meet the strict legal criteria will be able to make representations. A final decision on any detailed applications is not expected until summer 2015.  There is the potential for a large casino as part of the Royal Pier scheme, if the casino licensing process awards a licence in this location. Further details on this can be found on the council’s website under “Large Casino”.

7. Will there be residential accommodation?

Yes, however until a formal planning application is approved the final figure is unknown. 

8. Will the development obscure the existing waterfront?

One of the key objectives of the Royal Pier Waterfront project is to increase the amount of publicly accessible waterfront and assist in the reconnection of the city centre with the water.  The proposals will include a continuous waterfront promenade around the whole development, significantly increasing people’s ability to get close to the water. 

The scale of the development will inevitably change the current waterfront skyline and may restrict views of the water from certain existing angles, however the development will preserve key views of the water wherever possible.  

9. How will Mayflower Park be affected?

The proposals involve the redesign of Mayflower Park which is designated as a Public Open Space.  Some of the existing park will be used for development but new open space will be created from land reclamation.   The resulting park will be larger than the existing one and will include children’s play facilities.

All proposals affecting Mayflower Park will be consulted on before any decisions are taken.  The Council is required to advertise proposals that affect any open space and consider representations before any development can take place. 

For safety reasons, the park would need to be closed during the reclamation period and while the new park is laid out. 
Will there be any loss of open space?
There will be no net loss of open space.

10. How much of the river will be recovered for land use?

5.7 ha of land will be reclaimed from the River Test. 

11. What will happen to the original Pier?

The original Pier, owned by ABP, which has already been partially demolished will be removed. The new development will be built on reclaimed land on the site of the existing pier. The Royal Pier pavilion building (Kuti’s), which is a Listed Building will be retained. 

12. What impact will the development have on traffic volumes in this area of the city?

The Platform for Prosperity project to increase the road capacity from Dock Gate 4 to the Mayflower roundabout is due to be completed in 2015 – well before any activity is due to start on site at Royal Pier. 

In planning the Platform for Prosperity highway improvements, some traffic modelling was undertaken to assess the impact of the scheme on the surrounding highway network and future development proposals, including Royal Pier. The modelling concluded that there will be no significant impact to the network from this development, due to the improvements being made to Platform Road.

Once the detailed proposals for the scheme have been developed, further traffic modelling and a traffic impact assessment will be undertaken by the developer as part of the planning process.

13. How will the development tie in with the cruise industry?

Royal Pier Waterfront will provide excellent facilities for visiting cruise passengers, including waterfront accommodation and leisure facilities. It will create a welcoming and exciting entrance to visitors arriving by sea and will help promote Southampton as the south coast’s premier city.

It will also provide an improved facility for the Boat Show, showcasing Southampton’s links with the sea and its position as a maritime / marine centre of excellence.

14. What will happen to Red Funnel?

A new purpose built ferry terminal will be provided in the eastern docks at berth 50.  This will include a combined facility for the car ferry and the Red Jet passenger ferries. 

15. Who are the land owners?

There are a number of different partners and landowners involved with the Royal Pier development.
  • Southampton City Council is the landowner for Mayflower Park.
  • Associated British Ports (ABP) is the landowner for the land and water areas of the existing pier and the Red Funnel car ferry area.  
  • The Crown Estate is the landowner of the area to be reclaimed from the River Test.
  • The project will be undertaken by RPW (Southampton) Ltd; a joint venture company owned by Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd (MSIL) and funders Lucent Group.
These partners signed a conditional development agreement in February 2014.

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