THEY are the multi-million pound plans set to transform a key part of Southampton city centre.

These images show how the area around the city’s historic Bargate could look after the transformation of the derelict 30-year-old Bargate shopping centre.

The artist’s impressions were revealed by developers at a public consultation event yesterday.

The project, which would include up to 80,000 square feet of shops, accommodation for 400 students and 140 private flats, will “celebrate” the city’s ancient walls and create around 200 jobs once completed. Construction would take around two years.

Plans in development by Tellon Capital, the company which owns Bargate Property Ltd, and architects Corstophine and Wright would see the existing shopping centre demolished and a “terraced garden street” running from the 12th century Bargate monument to Queensway.

Running parallel to East Street and Hanover Buildings, the pedestrianised route would be 15 metres wide from shop fronts to the historic wall, and has been designed “to imitate the character of the gardens which were historically located along the wall”.

Modern seating areas and artwork would enhance the area, which developers hope will be filled with “aspirational brands”, cafes kiosks and restaurants.

The project also includes a plan to connect missing sections of the historic wall south of Polymond Tower with seating, lighting columns and artwork.

Buildings at the Queensway end of the project could go up to eight or nine storeys, with others towards Bargate only one or two. Residential flats would look out over the Bargate and Hoglands Park, and the art deco façade facing the Bargate monument would be kept.

There would also be around 125 parking spaces, probably built underground and to include bicycle storage.

Southampton daredevil Ally Law explores the derelict Bargate Centre site

Tellon Capital partner James Burchall said: “We are looking at how we can manage the respectfulness of the walls as well as creating a viable scheme with a mixture of residential, student, retail and cafes and restaurants and bars.

“We have had to look at how you create a scheme which balances a sense of obligation to the city, which will benefit the city and bring the walls back into the public as well as opening up a part of the city which has been hidden for a long time.

“Part of the identity of Southampton relates to the Bargate and we have a responsibility to get that balance right.

“The reason the Bargate centre wasn’t successful is that it was a closed end scheme – there was no draw and the policy of linking to Debenham’s is key. It has helped us understand how to create a scheme that works.

“We want to create a legacy that we and the city are proud of, that is sustainable financially and from a cultural perspective in relation to the wall is attractive and appeals to people so that they want to spend time here. We will be working on creating presence and a sense of belonging, not just in retail. We want to create an atmosphere where people will want to come.”

The company aims to submit their planning application at the end of June and it is expected to take up to eight weeks, with construction planned for summer 2017 through to summer 2019.

Romsey Advertiser: Architect Steven Frith

Architect Steven Frith, one of a team of seven working on the project who also developed Whiteley shopping centre near Fareham, said: “One big challenge has been how to create a financially viable scheme which respects the wall and the requirements to create a better environment with restrictions on height with limitations around the wall.

"Celebrating the wall will be the focus of the scheme, and releasing it to the public as it’s hidden from view at the moment, as well as offering something different to anything else in Southampton at the moment, with a nice retail environment with outdoor seats.

“We want to give a contemporary feel to the space but using traditional materials. The landscape and design will respect the context and be a celebration of the wall.”

Romsey Advertiser: Simon Letts, new leader of Southampton City Council. Order no: 16410070Council leader Simon Letts

Council leader Simon Letts said: “I’m struggling to see any problems at all with the plans so far. It will see an empty site brought back into use, and open up the city walls. We insisted on linking Debenham’s and the Bargate because we want to reinstate the old mediaeval street pattern. We also have plans as well to pedestrianise the bottom section of East Street.

“We also want to insist that student flats are designed in such a way that they can be converted into ordinary residences if necessary.

“This year alone we have received planning applications for over 5000 student flats, and it is our policy that they are built in purpose built blocks so that family houses can go back to families.”

Cllr Letts added that he understood the cost of the development was “tens of millions”.

He added: “I’m delighted. It’s another piece in the jigsaw and will help put Southampton on the map as the capital of the south coast. The future is looking bright.”

The deadline for feedback from the public consultation is May 31. Comments can be submitted at bargatequarter.co.uk/your-views.

Tellon Capital specialises in investing in UK real estate through partnerships with high net worth individuals and families as well as institutional investors.

The Bargate shopping centre itself was sold for £17million in 2008.