A MULTI-MILLION pound scheme to transform Southampton waterfront has been scrapped.

A hotel, a casino, 730 homes and a gourmet market were set to be built at the site of the derelict  Royal Pier but the future of the site is now hanging in the balance as Southampton City Council (SCC) has ended an agreement signed in 2014 with developer RPW Southampton Ltd.

Civic chiefs have been urged to reassure residents and businesses as the end of the £450m waterfront development deal has been described as a “big blow for the city”.

Daily Echo:

The reasons behind the move have not been revealed.

The city council said it remains committed to the redevelopment of the Royal Pier and welcomes “all expressions of interest from potential investors”.

But Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith said the authority could have done a lot more to support the developer.

Council leader Christopher Hammond hit back saying the council worked closely with RPW Ltd.

Opposition leader Dan Fitzhenry has now urged civic chiefs to take action as soon as possible.

Daily Echo:

He added: “They absolutely should reassure local residents and businesses . It is unfortunate and disappointing that we are back to square one.

"The council and its partners should quickly bring forward a new scheme that will create the world-class waterfront that we want. I would hope that the council has done everything they could to insure the scheme was going to be delivered.”

But Mr Smith said : “I’m disappointed but not surprised. We have run out of time and there will not be a development in the short term. The council have to decide what they want for

Daily Echo:

the site.

"This is five years gone and now it’s going to take them some more time before anything is done. They should have helped the company find funders and supporters to help them get the scheme off the ground.”

Cllr Hammond said: “We worked closely with RPW ltd throughout the agreement. We facilitated meetings, jointly approached potential investors and worked closely with KMG Capital Markets.

"Unfortunately, none of these came to fruition, so we terminated the agreement.”

Daily Echo:

The city council said it will continue to work with waterfront landowners, Associated British Ports and The Crown Estate, as well as the occupiers, to explore the potential for deliverable development plans. It is understood KMG Capital Markets owns RPW Ltd.

None of them could be reached for a comment.