Plans approved for former VT site near Southampton

Councillors in Southampton have approved a plan to allow US yacht builder Palmer Johnson to begin manufacturing superyachts on the former VT shipyard in Woolston. Local officials say the Palmer Johnson facility would add 800 jobs to the area.

The council, after a specially convened six-hour meeting, also approved a new master plan called Centenary Quay that would allow developers to put in 1,620 homes in a complex that includes high-rise towers, houses, supermarket and hotel. The plan has created a huge firestorm of protest in the local community. About 1,640 citizens filed a record number of complaints in Southampton. Community groups have also held two protest marches that attracted thousands of protesters. Around a dozen campaigners, including members of the Woolston Community Association, turned up to the meeting to object.

The council-approved plan is a watered-down version of the original development plan, with less flats and more single-family homes.