Southampton is a successful regional centre, the economic hub and the top retail centre on the south coast. It is home to the Port of Southampton, the UK’s leading port for automotive trade, and is the cruise capital of Northern Europe with 1.5 million cruise visitors per year.
To continue Southampton's success in the next 20 years, the city needs to attract further investment. The new Local Plan sets a vision for development in Southampton. It identifies areas for new development and protects port land and important retail, industrial and office areas. High quality places attract investment and the new Local Plan will promote good design, links to the waterfront and protect heritage and green space.
The council has recently finished the City Centre Action Plan, the new planning framework for the city centre. Its policies for city centre development will be taken forward unless there is evidence to show that our approach needs to change. These policies include planning for more shops, cafes/bars/restaurants, leisure facilities and cultural facilities. The focus will be on the existing retail core first and then an expansion west of WestQuay shopping centre. The City Centre Action Plan also plans for the growth of offices as the economy improves. It identifies new office development sites in the city centre, including a new business district incorporating Southampton Central Railway Station, Royal Pier Waterfront and in the longer term, parts of the Western Gateway (south of West Quay Road).
We will consider whether existing industrial sites should be protected, intensified or can be released. Most employment sites with a high occupancy rate in suitable locations and sites with strong links to the functioning of the port will continue to be protected. Potential losses of employment land to other uses will be considered cumulatively due to potential knock-on impacts within the city and wider sub-region.
The council considers that the following sites may be surplus to requirements and could potentially be released for alternative uses:
- Trinity Industrial Estate, Millbrook
- Corner site - Park Road and 53-75 Millbrook Road East
- Northbrook Industrial Estate, Bassett
- Pitt Road Industrial Estate, Freemantle
- Mountbatten Industrial Estate, Millbrook
- Sites located within the Itchen Riverside area (see Potential sites for development)
The plan will continue to manage the growth of the nationally important port and regionally important city, so there is either no impact on the port or any impact is outweighed by benefits to the city.