Developer Presents Concepts for Admiral’s Quay

People At the Admiral's Quay Consultation -2The public consultation on the future of the Admiral’s Quay development started today with a presentation of conceptual ideas at the Mocha Marina Coffee Shop.

When the original Admiral’s Quay project stalled in 2007, prior to phase two commencing, the “temporary” hoardings surrounding the site quickly became a permanent fixture and an Ocean Village eyesore. When Allied Developments purchased the site earlier this year councillor Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, said that “We hope to see them moving in as quickly as possible and are pleased another local developer is keen to bring further economic growth to Southampton”. From what we have seen today it would appear that both the architects (HGP) and the developer are equally keen.

HGP set aside part of the café for the day and erected a number of boards to showcase their conceptual ideas at this stage. They were very keen to stress that they wish to engage with, and get feedback from, the local community and provided everyone attending with comment forms to complete. Throughout the day a steady stream of people popped in to take a look at the boards, discuss their concerns, and discuss the new proposed ideas for the site.

In their proposal the architects have opted to keep the building adjacent to the Sirocco building as it was originally planned. This is because it interconnects with Sirocco, shares a garden area and because they recognise that those purchasing flats in the Sirocco building had an expectation of what the neighbouring property would be like. They have however taken the opportunity to reassess the remainder of the site to ensure that what is built best meets the needs of Ocean Village today. The proposed new scheme is fundamentally the same in that it aims to provide eight new bars, restaurants and cafes alongside roughly 300 high quality apartments and penthouses. However they have looked again at the overall design with the intention of creating a more attractive end result and one which makes best use of the public spaces. This has involved changing the orientation of buildings to more fully integrate them into the public areas below.

What has struck me so far is the enthusiasm of those involved in this project, there does appear to be a genuine desire to make this actually happen. No doubt we will all have different views on the merits of their proposals in their current form, and the architects are keen to have your feedback either way, but I am sure that we would all welcome the removal of the ugly hoardings and a future development likely to enhance Ocean Village for residents and visitors alike. As for timescales, they are hopeful that building work could start next year if all goes well.

For those unable to attend take a look at the pictures to get some idea of the new proposals. I am hopeful that the architects will be in a position to supply us with proper documents to download at a later date.