Current Concerns:

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From SCAPPS' November 2012 newsletter

SCAPPS' response to recent issues

Central Parks, student accommodation: In July, the City Council granted planning permission for 3 blocks to house 1136 students on the vacant site ('Mayflower Plaza') west of Watts Park. The block facing the Park will be 11 storeys.  The applicants took account of SCAPPS' concerns about impact of increased pressure of use and offered to fund work to discourage inappropriate hard-wearing, kick-about activities and contribute to cost of increased regular maintenance to cope with extra use and wear.    

SCAPPS objected to an application at Orion's Point, 78 St Mary's Road to convert the remaining British Gas offices to student accommodation and add a new 16 storey block, increasing numbers from 423 to 854 students. SCAPPS objected to the new tower and because of impact of increased  use on  Andrews Park. Planning & Rights of Way Panel decided permission should be given subject to an agreement that the developer pays for works mitigating impact of the development, including alterations and improvements to the Central Parks to manage and control additional use.

An application is expected soon for accommodation for 675 students in linked blocks up to 18 storeys high at 60-64 St Mary's Road.  SCAPPS will object to more tall buildings visually prominent from Andrews Park and impact of extra pressure of use.  This north-east part of Andrews Park is laid out as pleasure gardens, ill-suited to coping with intensification of use or providing for the vigorous types of activity of these 675 students and the 854 on the British Gas site.    

Mayflower Park/Royal Pier: There have been a number of unsuccessful proposals to redevelop Royal Pier.  A new scheme is in preparation which includes the Red Funnel Terminal and reclamation extending out into the Test from Mayflower Park.  SCAPPS has been promised a sight of proposals in advance of public consultation.  A report to Cabinet shows the intention to build on part of Mayflower Park but create a bigger Park on reclaimed land.

We are concerned that costs of reclamation, flood defence, building on reclaimed land and keeping a large area 'clear' for the Boat Show would result in pressure for substantial revenue-generating development elsewhere.  There is the danger that the consequent scale and height of buildings around Royal Pier and along West Quay Road/Herbert Walker Avenue would impact on enjoyment of Mayflower Park and block views out to the Test/Southampton Water from the Old Town, including from Town Quay Park and the Cuckoo Lane open space on top of the Town Walls. 

Queen's Park/Platform Road:  The City Council consulted the public on its proposal to dual Platform Road.  The new alignment includes the Vokes Memorial Garden but the scheme proposes creation of a replacement garden between the widened road and a realigned boundary with the Port.  SCAPPS supported the scheme in principle because there is no net loss of open space and it removes through traffic from Queen's Terrace; at present, Queen's Park seems little more than a traffic gyratory.  SCAPPS will be consulted as details are worked-up and will press for screen planting between new road and Park. SCAPPS is opposed to kerb-side parking in Queen's Terrace when through traffic is removed and wants it treated in the same way the City Centre Action Plan proposes for Queensway ---- a 'green link' connecting the Central Parks to Queen's Park.  

Frogs Copse/Townhill Park:  SCAPPS awaits the chance to comment on an emerging scheme for 'regeneration' of the Townhill Park housing estate. This may affect Frogs Copse, a large open space of rough grass and woodland with extensive views, presently managed principally for nature conservation.  Part might be sold for development in exchange for an extension to the park providing children's and young persons' play areas and more provision for active recreational use than at present.

Draft Green Space Guide: Consultation on a guide ' to respect and use Southampton's parks and green spaces.'  A welcome initiative to update and put into accessible language rules guiding activities in parks, including barbecues, cycling, dogs, feeding ducks, fishing, foraging and informal ball games. See City Council's website: SCAPPS has made comments both on wording and on how it is intended to publicise the Guide and  make particular groups of park-users aware of expected behaviour.  Although comments were requested by 9 November, do tell the City Council if you have concerns or reservations about what is said, or to register your support.  Comments may be made by e-mail to or by post to the Green Space Guide Project Officer, Streetscene & Community Safety, Southampton City Council, 1 Guildhall Square, Southampton SO14 7FP.   


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