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

  Notes by Marian Hubble [chair of Planning and Environmental Sub Committee]

Members from CoSS and SCAPPS met Kay Brown and Richard Plume, from the City Development and Development Control to discuss the emerging plans for the City’s new Arts Complex on the old T& G site. The Societies had two major concerns; the height of the complex and the width of the walkway that would link the Guildhall Square with East Park.

Final agreements have been signed for the scheme between Southampton City Council, the Arts Council and Grosvenor Developments Ltd. The architects are ‘CZWG’. The aim is for the planning application to be submitted this Spring,  work to commence in 2012, with the opening planned for early 2015.

The new centre will consist of two non-identical blocks, each with a rectangular base and interesting elevations. The sky-lines will be styled each with a single slope angled downwards towards the centre. We were all in favour of the proposed design for the skyline.

The southern block will be the taller of the two, nine storeys high. The ground floors of each block will accommodate retail units, mainly for food and drink. In addition, there will be gallery space on the ground level of the southern building and more display space on the mezzanine and first floor. The remaining space above will contain 25 – 30 flats.

The north block, the smaller of the two buildings, is to be used for the performing arts and will contain two auditoria and associated service space.

The Arts Complex will comprise of around 75,000 sq. ft. of performing arts, gallery and film/media space across the two iconic buildings.

The Societies were concerned that the area between the buildings was too narrow to allow for a full view of the Guildhall portico from the West Park. On seeing the revised plans it became obvious that the viewing possibilities would not be compromised. The east-west thoroughfare will be 12 metres wide. Some re-alignment of the paths in the park will be necessary to enhance the distant view of the Guildhall steps. There should be no overall increase in tarmac, nor any reduction in the area of lawn.

The Arts Complex will cost around £21million in total. £7.2million of this will come from Arts Council England. The new developments are expected to bring in £175million of private and public investment, generate around 2,000 jobs and encourage thousands of visitors into the city.

The Societies are very grateful to Kay and Richard for so generously giving up their time to explain the plans for this exciting development.

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