MULTI-MILLION pound plans to transform an area of Southampton city centre are set to be approved.

A block of flats which could be 20-storey high, a 225-bedroom hotel, new shops and offices are to bring new life to Nelson Gate, the area outside Southampton Central train station.

The scheme, which is set to be discussed by civic chiefs tonight (Nov 12), would also see the demolition of Grenville House and the refurbishment of Norwich House and Frobisher House.

According to the plans submitted by FI Real Estate Management, the new tower with 110 new flats, the 11-storey hotel and a double level car park with 43 parking spaces would be built within the western part of the site.

An extra 68 parking spaces could be provided between Frobisher House and Norwich House which is also set to be expanded to create new shops and offices.

A total of 4,368sqm of new and refurbished office space will be created at the site and pedestrians and cycle facilities could also be improved to link Nelson Gate to Hill Lane.

The development is set to be centred around a public square facing the station.

City leaders had previously said the scheme would provide a gateway into the city for people arriving by train.

Some residents raised concerns over the impact the new development would have on traffic and the nearby properties.

Historic England also raised concerns over the height of the new block of flats and its impact on the civic centre campanile.

But planning officers said the scheme is acceptable and the height of proposed tower is indicative and will be determined as part of a more detailed planning application.

Residents group City of Southampton also backed the scheme and asked for more community space.

The proposals will be discussed by the Planning and Rights of Way Panel at Southampton City Council during a meeting set to start at 6pm.

The scheme is recommended for approval with a final decision set to be made by a chief officer once more details on developers contribution are agreed.

In an official document planning officers said: "Overall the scheme is acceptable and the level of development proposed will not result in an adverse impact on the amenities enjoyed by surrounding occupiers or to the character and appearance of the area. The positive aspects of the scheme are not judged to be outweighed by the negative.Furthermore there are clear economic benefits arising from this scheme."