BRITAIN'S first virtual reality, indoor baseball facility could be set to open in Southampton.

1st Base, owned and run by businessman Sean Larsen, is an entertainment unit that would allow participants to try their hand at the sport.

Using precision cameras, people would be able to become part of the baseball field, hitting balls in a virtual game.

Although the technology exists in countries such as the USA and Korea, it would be the first time an experience venue of this kind had opened anywhere in the UK.

Mr Larsen, who also runs a laser clay shooting range in Reading, has lodged plans to transform the former Sweet Sensi site on East Street.

He told the Daily Echo: "In the UK there are batting cages, but nothing with this level of technology anywhere.

"People will get the chance to strike balls and practise their swing while being indoors.

"Southampton is going to provide us with a nice platform and hopefully with the high student population we can thrive here."

Southampton City Council is currently reviewing the plans.

If approved, the premises will be open between 10am and 11pm from Monday until Sunday.

In the proposal, Mr Larsen said the games would be designed for groups of one to eight people who could book in for an hour slot.

He added: "After a short briefing, one player at a time enters the batting cage and hits back a ball that is pitched at them.

"The ball that is hit, is tracked using precision cameras and shown on a virtual baseball field on adjacent TV screens.

"This allows the players to play a virtual baseball game.

"The site would be a family friendly venue with a focus on a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere.

"The physical balls that are hit are not real baseballs but instead a softer replica ball and hence there is minimal sound emitted from the ball striking the bat.

"All balls will be caught in netting and so there will be no sound caused by the balls hitting any solid objects."