PLANS have been unveiled to redevelop the south of Romsey's town centre.

Land owned by civic bosses could be included in changing the area surrounding Crosfield Hall and Aldi, as Romsey Future, a group set up to help plan out the future of the next 20 years for the town, begins to push forward.

The project, in working with Test Valley Borough Council, could see an area developed for shops, a cinema, or a number of other possibilities. Those in charge of the project say there are no preconceptions as they begin consulting with residents.

The mass consultation will be launched later this summer as Romsey Future, formed by stakeholders including Romsey Town Council, Romsey and District Society and the Chamber of Commerce, seek the opinion of residents and businesses.

The consultation itself will run from September until October 2018, and will be used to help create a supplementary planning document, which will set out the community's aspirations for the area for future developers.

Chair of Romsey Future, councillor Nick Adams-King, said: "During the community involvement exercise that established Romsey Future, many people spoke about their desire to see the redevelopment of the south side of the town centre, including the Crosfield Hall site.

"We have listened to that aspiration and are now able to act upon it. This is an exciting opportunity to enhance and re-shape Romsey town centre. We start with no preconceptions at all. We have a genuinely blank piece of paper and want to engage with everyone who uses the town centre to find out their ideas."

There is currently no cost estimate to the project, as no set ideas have been decided upon for the site, or the shape it will take.

The Romsey Future project began in November 2013, with the intention of developing a strategic vision shared by the community and organisations working in the town.

President of the chamber of commerce in Romsey, Peter Speirs, said parking was the number one priority that needed to be addressed.

It comes a week after the news that parking in Romsey was operating at 86 per cent capacity during peak times.

Peter, who also owns Humbugs sweet shop in the town, said: "Parking needs to be the number one priority because that's the town's biggest problem. As long as that is addressed then I think this is a great idea.

"Anything that brings footfall to the town is a good thing, and if this can do that, then everybody will be welcoming it.

"I will certainly be taking part in the consultation when it begins."

Cllr Adams-King said that Romsey Future was 'keenly aware' that car parking improvements were needed.

He said: "We are keenly aware that improving our car parking capacity will be key, but the answer to that challenge may not lay in this part of the town centre.

"Therefore I hope residents and businesses will be bold with their ideas once the consultation commences."

Stakeholders in the group have also proposed visiting community events in a bid to spread the word of the consultation that begins later this year.