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Frequently Asked Questions

Interested people may have questions about the development of the Royal Pier Waterfront and its impact on the community. Please find below a selection of frequently asked questions followed by our answers.

Who is RPW (Southampton) Limited?

RPW (Southampton) Limited (“RPW”) is a property development company owned by the GB Strategic Land Fund (GBSLF). It will manage the process of securing comprehensive planning permission and developing the land at Royal Pier Waterfront, which is owned by Southampton City Council (SCC), Associated British Ports (ABP) and The Crown Estate.

GBSLF specialises in strategic land development throughout the UK with extensive experience in real estate acquisition, planning, development, banking, project management and sustainability.

What is the Royal Pier Waterfront?

The Royal Pier Waterfront is a site of 35.4 acres (14.34 hectares) adjacent to the Town Walls and Port of Southampton.

It includes the existing listed Royal Pier which was built in 1833 to provide a landing point for ferry services between Southampton and the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands. Damaged by a fire and storms, the existing Royal Pier has been disused and dilapidated for many years.

Today, the Port of Southampton is the busiest cruise ship port in Europe with 500 cruise ships and 1.5 million passengers passing through it each year. It is also a significant export link for the UK, being home to the country’s second largest container port and exporting more vehicles than any other port.

Why is RPW planning to redevelop Royal Pier Waterfront?

RPW is working closely with the landowners – the City Council, ABP and The Crown Estate – to achieve our joint vision of creating one of the finest waterfront developments in Europe – and a jewel in the Southampton crown. We have taken our inspiration from some of the world’s most exciting and vibrant cities including Amsterdam, Cape Town, San Francisco and Copenhagen.

Southampton has a long maritime heritage, however opportunities for public access to the waterfront have been limited. Through the redevelopment, we will reconnect the community to the waterfront and give Southampton a port of which it can be proud.

When will the project commence?

The Royal Pier Waterfront project has started.  Legal agreements between all the landowners and Royal Pier Waterfront (Southampton) Limited have been signed.  There are many planning, design and legal elements to be completed before any work on site can commence.

The current programme assumes planning applications will be submitted early in 2015.  In terms of work starting on site, land reclamation and relocation of the Red Funnel ferry facility into Southampton Port would start in 2016 with construction scheduled to start on the first buildings in 2017.

When will the project conclude?

The Royal Pier project would be a multi-phased development constructed over a 10-15 year period.  At this stage there is no final completion date.

What happens next in the plans for Royal Pier?

The next stage of the process involves survey work and public consultation.  Following this, we will prepare planning applications for the comprehensive mixed-use development of the site.

How many jobs will be created?

It is difficult to give precise figures at this time but we estimate about 3,500 jobs will be created during the various construction phases of the Royal Pier Waterfront development.  These jobs will span the entire construction sector, providing employment for architects, engineers, electricians, plumbers and many more.  In addition to this, we estimate that the various businesses that locate here have the potential to generate a further 6,200  direct jobs, meaning an estimated total of 9,700 jobs could arise as a result of the Royal Pier Waterfront development.

What will be the benefits to the Southampton community?

Southampton has a proud maritime heritage and, through the development, it is our desire to reconnect the people of the city with the waterfront. Our vision is to create one of the finest waterfront developments in Europe. In addition, this project will deliver:

    • significant local employment opportunities during the construction phase and subsequently with the companies who will occupy the completed development;
    • an improved and extended Mayflower Park;
    • an enhanced and permanent site for the PSP Southampton Boat Show;
    • an extended public area along the waterfront with bars, restaurants and other facilities;
    • a new and improved ferry terminal to shorten journey times and increase capacity for travellers to the Isle of Wight and improvements to Town Quay Road.

Working with The Crown Estate, RPW will deliver a sustainable development, protecting local biodiversity.

Will the redevelopment be environmentally sustainable?

The project has been planned from the outset to foresee and mitigate any potential adverse environmental impact.

The whole project is, and will continue to be, the subject of scrutiny by statutory bodies including environmental protection agencies.

The new build works will be of a high design quality in keeping with the high profile location and will comply with modern standards of environmental sustainability.

What is going to happen to Mayflower Park?

Mayflower Park will be improved and extended, creating a larger park that is better suited for community use as well as for the PSP Southampton Boat Show.

Some of the existing park will be used for development but new open space will be created from land reclamation.  Mayflower Park is designated as a Public Open Space.  Southampton City Council is required to advertise proposals that affect any open space and consider representations before any development can take place.

For safety reasons, the park would need to be closed during the reclamation periods and while the new park is laid out.

Will there be any loss of open space?

There will be no loss of open space.

How is the PSP Southampton Boat Show going to be affected?

We are working with the show’s organisers to ensure it continues uninterrupted throughout the development and that the extended Mayflower Park is large enough to accommodate the show in a single site.

What will happen to the original pier?

It is intended that the original pier, which is owned by ABP and which has already been partially demolished, will be removed.  The new development will be built on reclaimed land on the site of the existing pier.  The Royal Pier pavilion building, which is a Listed Building, will be retained.

Will the development reduce the existing waterfront?

One of the key objectives of the Royal pier Waterfront project is to increase the amount of publicly accessible waterfront and assist in the reconnection of the city centre with the water.  The proposals will include a continuous waterfront promenade around the whole development, significantly increasing people’s ability to get close to the water.

How does this project fit into Southampton City Council’s City Centre Action Plan?

The Royal Pier Waterfront redevelopment has been planned in the context of the City Centre Action Plan (CCAP). The City Council is a key partner in the redevelopment and is ensuring consistency with the overall city plan.

What impact will the development have on traffic volumes in this area of the city?

RPW (Southampton) Limited has worked closely with both Southampton City Council and the Highways Agency.  SCC’s Platform for Prosperity project to increase the road capacity from Dock Gate 4 to the Mayflower roundabout is due to be completed in 2015 – well before any activity is due to start on site at the Royal Pier.

In planning the Platform for Prosperity highway improvements, some traffic modelling was undertaken to assess the impact of the scheme on the surrounding highway network and future development proposals, including Royal Pier.  The modelling concluded that there will be no significant impact to the network from this development, due to the improvements being made to Platform Road.

How will the developments tie in with the cruise industry?

Royal Pier Waterfront will provide excellent facilities for everyone to enjoy including the 1.5 million cruise passengers who visit Southampton every year.  Whether they are looking for accommodation, cafes, restaurants or shopping, Royal Pier Waterfront will create a welcoming and exciting entrance to visitors arriving by sea and will help promote Southampton as the south coast’s premier city.

Will there be a casino?

Southampton’s casino licensing process is being undertaken by Southampton City Council and commenced on 1st April 2014.  Initial applications from potential operators are due by the end of June 2014. All applications will be advertised publicly and those who meet the strict legal criteria will be able to make representations.  A final decision on any detailed applications is not expected until summer 2015.

There is the potential for a large casino as part of the Royal Pier scheme, if the casino licensing process awards a licence in this location.

What will happen to Red Funnel?

A new purpose built ferry terminal will be provided in the eastern docks at Berth 50.  This will include a combined facility for the car ferry ad the Red Jet passenger ferries.

How can Southampton residents get involved and provide ideas and feedback on the developments?

RPW will facilitate public consultation and community engagement as part of the process of preparing a comprehensive planning application for the site. Further details will be published on this website and in the local press and media at the relevant time.

How can we find out more about what is happening?

This website will have regular updates.

 

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