City of Southampton Society
Registered Charity No 1006256 England and Wales
caring for our city's heritage and its green open spaces
Webmaster John Avery
                                      Titanic departing from Southampton April 1912          John Melody Town Crier          
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Queen Mary entering KG DOCKOur outdoor visit to Minstead Church in 2011 image Will TempleWarrior who after service on the front in WWI became a Southampton Police Horse. Image by kind permission Bitterne Local History SocietySouthampton CenotaphJohn Melody Town Crier at Tudor Revels 2012 image Arthur Jeffery

Planning and Environmental Sub Committee

Chairman Marian Hibble
Minutes Secretary Arthur Jeffery
Brian Sefton
  Alec Samuels Simon Reynier Edward Chaney


  • We are advised by SCC officers of applications for new building /alterations to buildings in conservation areas and requests for Listed Building Consent which covers alterations and major repairs on listed buildings.
  • We meet on regular occasions with the Conservation Officer to discuss infringements or to suggest inclusion of buildings to be considered for Listing [or a slightly lower grade of local authority list of buildings at risk].
  • We also receive notification from SCC officers of major developments [>£5 million] such as IKEA.
  • Developers occasionally contact us when they are holding a public consultation exercise prior to formally submitting a planning application.
  • The committee liaise with other amenity groups on subjects such as the Old Cemetery [Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery], Commons, Parks and Greenaways [Southampton Commons and Parks Protection Society, Friends of St James' Park, Friends of Riverside Park, Friends of Town Quay Park], the Old Town [Old Town Residents Association, Friends of Old Southampton, Friends of Town Quay Park], Waterfront Development [Southampton Heritage Federation, [Old Town Residents Association,Friends of Town Quay Park].
  • We report anti social behaviour such as night clubs and pop concerts plastering the town with fly posters, road conditions such as potholes, graffiti, fly tipping, knotweed on public land and illegal trading stalls etc in parks.
  • Apart from placing written comments we also appear at the Planning and Rights of Way Panel to oppose planning applications and hearings held by H.M. Planning Inspectorate.
  • The committee undertakes site visits to study first hand the impact on developments.

  •   The Jonas Nichols fountain in St Mary Street      Southampton is grade II listed. It was moved to the  present site when Jonas Nichols square was created.  The monument needs attention as the paint is flaking  and there are signs of rust showing through.

  •  The monument is in the wrong location and local  traders dump all their rubbish bins etc next to it. The  committee is going to press SCC to relocate it to a  park as an alternative location or if it is to stay in the present location a defined curtilage be established to prevent abuse of rubbish tipping. We supported a grant from CoSS to the council to restore the memorial's condition.  
  We monitor the condition of listed buildings and monuments and notify the SCC Conservation Officer of neglect or infringements.

Public Exhibition 10-12 July 2015 at Kuti’s Restaurant, Royal Pier Gatehouse

Response to Terence O’Rourke Ltd by The City of Southampton Society

Members of CoSS who attended this event were impressed with the design quality of the realigned Mayflower Park.
 Many of the features presented will realise CoSS’s aspirations for Southampton’s Waterfront.
The Society acknowledges that many of the suggestions we have put forward at past meetings over the last
 18 months have been incorporated in the proposals.  The views down Bugle Street and French Street have been
 respected, and your awareness that the RPW scheme needs to be linked to West Quay/Watermark is welcomed.
The Society does, however, have several concerns and observations to make.  I have summarised these below
 but not necessarily in order of priority.
1 Disabled Drivers.  We support the free pedestrian access to the water’s edge, but some access for cars driven
 by disabled and elderly people should be allocated – say 25 spaces.
2 Underground Car Park.  In the underground car park a system of LED green/red lights to identify whether
 a parking bay is vacant or not should be installed.
3 Linkage/Connections to West Quay.  RPW and West Quay/Watermark need to be connected for their
 mutual success.  The public should be attracted to move from one to the other, whether by using the old trams
 along Western Esplanade or some other travel system.  RPW need to liaise with Hammersons because CoSS 
strongly believe that the failure to link these two developments from the start will result in low footfall, and
 therefore economic and social stagnation.
4 Public Toilets.  These should be installed for all to use at all times, not just to users of the cafes or
 other retail outlets.
5 The Oval Building (WQA).  This building in the north-east corner of the new park seems to be squeezing
 the children’s play area into insignificance.  In the Planning Application more details should be available
 about its function.
6 Boat Show.  Since the new park will be 19% larger than the present one, areas of it, particularly the
 children’s play area, should be open to the public throughout the Boat Show period in September.
7 Public Viewing Platform.  The plan states one of the tall hotels includes a viewing platform to observe 
the port’s activities, with views across to the New Forest.  This platform should be accessible to the general
 public, not just to hotel customers.
8 Construction Timings.  CoSS seeks reassurance that the realigned Mayflower Park will be virtually
 completed before the apartment blocks are built.
9 Town Arena & Environs.  We welcome this concept in front of the Gatehouse.  Small public performances
 and displays will add, on a daily basis, to the convivial atmosphere of this location.  However, there is a
 strong need for inclusiveness of this scheme with its immediate surroundings, namely, the Wool House, 
Southampton Royal Yacht Club building, Town Quay Park, Cuckoo Lane open space and the Mayflower
 and Stella Memorials, and, most of all, Town Quay itself, the only pier left once this proposed scheme is completed.
10 The Casino Question.  Can this scheme proceed without the casino being built?
11 Access to the Water.  Citizens will need a public hard to launch their small boats.  A small pontoon for fishermen
 will be most welcomed.  Blue Funnel and water taxis will need access (for water taxis, see Southampton
 Football Club’s plans to develop a service to and from Itchen Quay adjacent to St Mary’s Stadium).  Whether
 this service operates from Mayflower Park or the Marine Basin is open to discussion.

We gather RPW will submit a Planning Application in a few weeks time.  We look forward to scrutinising it.

Arthur Jeffery

Chair of CoSS

16 July 2015


CoSS response on the consultation for Draft City Centre action plan [submited March 2012]

To Helen Pearce

Southampton City Planning Officer.

Re City of Southampton Society Response to the Draft City Centre Action Plan (Jan 2012)

Dear Helen

Further to our fruitful meeting with you and Dawn Heppell on Monday 12 March 2012, set out below are the salient points that CoSS wish to make.

The Plan does not achieve a balanced community strategy; matching public green open space with the additional housing and providing secondary schools in the city centre.  The principal traffic routes are not identified on any of the maps and it could be said that there is a clash of use between traffic and pedestrians in such places as the proposed “Green Mile”.

For example, the traffic flow plan at the proposed Platform Road Changes should not simply be for Dock Gate 4 and Dock Gate 5, but one which will take into account all the roads feeding into that area (see page 65).

We must remind you of the SCC obligation to adhere to the Core Strategy (Policy 21).  You refer on page 41 (4.90) that you will only “seek to retain” public open space.  The wording should be “The City Council will retain the quantity and improve the quality of public open space”.

You will also recall that the Core Strategy Government Inspector, in August 2010, asked the SCC to “take on board” the need to avoid overshadowing/dominating the Central Parks with high-rise buildings.

We see the compromise as the “step-back” design to the development, rather like the plans for the new art complex on the old Tyrrell & Green site.

The Old Town too needs to be protected from high buildings (six storeys was the original agreement). 

Page 81 (Policy 5.21 and 20).  Blechynden Terrace public open space is well used at lunchtime by office workers.  The City Green Open Spaces Manager, John Horton, has told CoSS that this bomb-site park could be a memorial garden to the civilians killed in the city during World War II, i.e. similar to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedenkemal Kirche in Berlin.

The planned squares either side of the railway station appear not to be “green” and the proximity of the main dual carriageway on the south side seems to curtail the construction of a “square” of any size!

CoSS have identified two walking routes, which we believe should be part of the plan.

The route from Maddison Street through the Castle perimeter wall towards West Quay shopping centre.  This needs to be incorporated in the plans to convert the car parks at Albion Place into POS.

When Hanover Buildings shops are re-developed, a path which continues the route down Houndwell Park should cross the road there and go directly south to Polymond Tower.  This will re-unite the parks and the medieval town walls to the east of the Bargate, and in so doing rid the city of an unattractive dumping ground for waste material. (See page 111)

Referring again to the Albion Place proposed POS, we are concerned that the views west from the Catchcold Tower area will be severely affected by the West Quay Phase III (Watermark).  “Where is the water?” is the common complaint by visitors to the city.

As regards Tourism & Heritage, we consider the view of the water from High Street, French Street and Bugle Street to be sacrosanct (not listed on p.55).  We would also ask that the three Heritage Trails for Titanic, Jane Austen and Isaac Watts be incorporated into this and any other plan for the City Centre.  Remember this is now a stopping off point for Cruise Liners, not just a departure and arrival port.

On page 23 (4.33) in addition to the Seacity Museum and the new Arts Complex, please add Tudor House Museum and the Solent Sky Aviation Museum.

On page 14 (4.93), the role of Queensway should be stressed to achieve the “Green Mile” connection between the Central Parks and Queens Park.

Map 10 introduces viewing “arrows” from Mayflower Park pointing towards the Old Town; however, more viewing arrows need to be shown on Map 10 pointing in both directions, i.e. Old Town to Waterfront panoramic views (not glimpses!) and, likewise, arrows at Guildhall Square to and from East Park.  Long term, arrows from Above Bar Precinct to and from Houndwell Park.

Page 64.  There is no paragraph entitled “Coaches”.  As regards transport, CoSS wish to suggest two “hubs”, duly connecting with a free bus service.

Hub 1, at the Central Railway Station, to include a new and adequate Coach Station for National Express etc.  (This may have to be raised above the new public square since space is at a premium.)

Hub 2, at the Town Quay/Royal Pier site, shortly to be vacated by Red Funnel.  We envisage a Circular Quay (Sydney) set up.  River ferries (jetties at, e.g., Redbridge, Marchwood, Cobden Bridge, Woolston), buses and a tram terminating at the end of QE2 Mile.  A tram route for tourists and shoppers as well, running down the QE2 Mile and through the arch in the Bargate (as before World War II).

The “Super Bus Stops” at Castle Way/Portland Terrace will pose problems for the users of the proposed POS at Albion Place, unless engines are switched off.

The Vincent Walk site is essentially a park-side location and buses should not be there at all.  Provision should be made for the bus stops to be in Above Bar Street, north of the Precinct.  This will be convenient for bus passengers and free up the parks area of Pound Tree Road and Vincent Walk.  The whole nature of Vincent Walk could be re-assessed with retail/cafés facing out onto the park, thus revitalising the whole area.

Long term, CoSS and SCAPPS envisage that many more retailers and apartments should face the Central Parks rather than having their backs to them, which will give the area social advantages to shoppers, residents and park users.

CoSS look forward to reading the definitive Plan as and when it is published.

Yours sincerely

Marian Hubble and Arthur Jeffery

On behalf of City of Southampton Society

CoSS response to to Morgan Sindall's Presentation on 17 May 2012 on the future of the Waterfront/ Town Quay area of Southampton

We at CoSS are cautiously optimistic following the meeting.  Outlined below is our response.

1.  Headline Issues

Five Positive Points:

(i)  Mayflower Park will be enlarged up to 50% more.

(ii) Royal Pier re-established after decades of neglect.

 [iii] Red Funnel will move away and open up public access between Town             Quay and Royal Pier.

 [iv] Improved pedestrian crossings of Town Quay Road, yet traffic flow will be enhanced.

 (v)  Development of mixed usage: residential, office and retail.

Problem Points:

 [i] Height of buildings that will be constructed.

[ii] View down High Street/French Street, Bugle Street – more a “glimpse” than a “view”.

(iii)      Town Walls could be overshadowed?

(iv)       More night activities.

(v)        Where can the cars be parked?

(vi)       Whole venture is not joined up:  an “After you, Claude” mentality exists             between SCC and ABP and, to a lesser extent, Crown Estates.

2.  Detailed Suggestions

a)   Traffic Flow Versus Pedestrian Access to the New Development

            As mentioned at the meeting, pedestrians will need not only to be able to cross Town Quay Road easily and safely, but they need to be attracted to want to cross!!  Bringing people on foot down the High Street, French Street and Bugle Street is a pre-requisite to the development’s success.  Assessing visually, almost instantly, what the site has to offer is of equal importance.  Achieving this bringing together of the “Old Town” and the new Royal Pier area will not be easy; close co-operation with the City Council is an essential ingredient.

b)   Local Ferry Hub for Foot Passengers at “The Pool”

      The re-location of Red Funnel will give the opportunity for new public access to “The Pool” between Town Quay and the Royal Pier.  The current hazard to pedestrians at Gate 7 will, at a stroke, be removed.  Local ferries will be able to ply their way to Hythe, Marchwood, Woolston, Riverside Park, Eling and, of course, to tour the Docks (e.g. with Blue Funnel).  Visitors would be able to reach “The Pool” on foot, by cycle, by tram (see 2c) as well as by car and public transport.

 c] Monuments & Memorials

The Mayflower memorial and the Stella memorial are positioned adjacent to Town Quay Road.  In the new extended Mayflower Park the Society would strongly recommend a large replica of the Mayflower be constructed in time for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of both the Mayflower and Speedwell, namely 15 August 2020.

The American Ambassador unveiled the monument in 1913 and another senior American Government official should be invited to perform a ceremony in 2020.  The Mayflower represents the birth of a new nation, something to celebrate, unlike the tragedy of the Titanic.

Now that Aeronautica will no longer occupy Berth 50 and the Trafalgar Dock, the Society recommend that the planned memorial to the Spitfire be located at the end of the re-constructed Royal Pier.  Whether other aspects of the Aeronautica project can also be included would be a bonus.  Trams (the rebuilt Southampton trams) running down from West Quay Shopping Centre along Western Esplanade to the new complex would be an even greater bonus because it will bring people to the new complex.

d)  Complementing the Old and the New

The buildings in the new complex, both commercial and residential, should complement those in the Old Town.  One should be able to appreciate the views in both directions.  The choice of building material will be crucial in achieving this effect.  The three planned blocks north of Mayflower Park will be the tallest buildings in the new development, yet, to comply with the Old Town Plan, they should not exceed six storeys and preferably decrease in height towards Dock Gate 7.

e)  Style of Residential Buildings

Visuals shown at the Presentation by Urban Initiatives seem to be in favour of Copenhagen/Scandinavian type structures, close together but not too high (maximum six storeys). This style would be acceptable if the groups of buildings ran parallel to the line of the “Old Town” streets (i.e. shore to water).  However, the Society will not accept structures that run continuously at right angles to that described above.  Buildings which are planned to be built along or parallel to Town Quay Road must be well spaced.  The spaces must coincide with the views from the Old Town roads.  To misquote “Animal Farm” by George Orwell:

  “View through: good”

  “Glimpses through: bad”

3.  Bringing SCC, ABP and Crown Estates Together

Morgan Sindall has the opportunity to achieve a unity of purpose by bringing together the three protagonists, and the Society wishes them well in their endeavours.

Marian Hubble and Arthur Jeffery City of Southampton Society 7 June 2012

May 2012 The port owners ABP successfully applied to Southampton Council to demolish the portals at Gates 8 and 10. CoSS and other heritage interested parties applied to English Heritage for the portals to be listed Grade II. The listing was granted which now preserves the two iconic gates.
Courtesy Daily Echo 



                                                                            Copyright City of Southampton Society 2011/12/13/19

Outdoor visit to Minstead Church image courtesy Will Temple Outdoor visit on a Guy Arab open top busTug tender Calshot in preservation