Debenhams Southampton: Plans for 600 flats unveiled

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Debenhams Southampton: Plans for 600 flats unveiled

A former Debenhams store could be demolished to make way for 600 flats under plans unveiled by a developer.

The building in Queensway, Southampton, has been empty since closing last year.

National Regional Property Group said it was "not viable" to retain the existing building for retail use.

However, it said its proposals would include some commercial space, provide affordable homes and create 250 jobs, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Allan Gordon, the company's managing director, said the new building would "help to rejuvenate a key part of the city".

"Importantly, we are proposing buildings of an appropriate height and scale for their location, using high quality materials which take reference from their surroundings and create an attractive addition to the street scene," he added.

Both the Conservatives, who control Southampton City Council, and the opposition Labour group welcomed the proposals.

Royston Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen, said: "It is a great shame that the iconic Debenhams store had to close but the proposed redevelopment of the site is the right one."

Further details of the scheme, including a time-scale and the exact cost, are yet to be revealed.

The building was redeveloped in the 1950s after being destroyed in World War Two, and operated as the Edwin Jones department store until 1973, when it was rebranded as Debenhams.

Debenhams was bought by online fashion retailer Boohoo for £55m in January, and all of its remaining physical stores were closed.

Source: BBC News