Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton medieval walls city revamp compulsory purchases backed

Bargate plans Image copyright Corstorphine and Wright
Image caption The plans include flats and student accommodation

Three city centre shops in Southampton could be the subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in a bid to redevelop the area.

Homes and shops are set to be built alongside the medieval town walls in Queensway and East Street.

City council leader Simon Letts said the authority had agreed to authorise CPOs if agreements could not be reached with traders.

Businesses have already criticised the revamp which was approved in January.

Image copyright Corstorphine and Wright
Image caption The plans feature a boulevard that includes the city's medieval walls
Image copyright Google
Image caption The medieval walls are currently surrounded by buildings

A British Heart Foundation shop, Casanova Italian restaurant and Pack and Send packing shop could be the subject of CPOs.

Casanova and British Heart Foundation have declined to comment and the firm has not yet responded to a BBC request for comment.

'Last resort'

Other traders in the area, including Tiffany's clothes shop, have already reached agreements with developer Tellon Capital.

Mr Letts said he hoped the remaining traders would settle, describing CPOs as a "last resort".

The plans involve an open boulevard, making a feature of the medieval walls which are currently "hidden" among the side of buildings, he added.

The Bargate was the first part of the town walls to be built, dating to about 1180, with alterations in about 1290. Southampton did not become a city until 1964.

The existing 1980s Bargate shopping centre and multi-storey car park are among the buildings earmarked for demolition to make way for 152 flats, 185 student residential units, shops and restaurants.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The existing 1980s Bargate shopping centre is set for demolition

Southampton's town walls

  • The first sections to be built, Bargate and Eastgate, date from 1180 with alterations made in about 1290
  • They were extended following the devastating French raid of 1338. Edward III ordered that walls be built to "close the town", with the western walls completed in 1380
  • The walls - including eight gates and 29 towers - stretched for one and a quarter miles, with the Bargate as the entrance to the medieval town
  • In the late 19th Century an idea to demolish the Bargate as an impediment to traffic was defeated following a public campaign. But in the 1930s the adjoining walls were removed to allow traffic to flow on either side
  • Roughly half of the walls, 13 of the original towers and six gates are still standing, making them some of the most complete medieval town walls in the country

Source: Southampton City Council

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