New Eastern Dock car park to impact Ocean Village residents?

Multiple corroborating sources indicate that ABP is extremely close to commencing work on a new multi-storey car park in the Eastern Docks for storing import/export cars in transit.  Although a number of these structures already exist elsewhere in the docks, this will be the first multi-storey compound of this type being built in very close proximity to some residential properties in Ocean Village.  ABP have apparently stated that it will be of a comparable height to similar structures in the area, which would suggest that it will be four storeys high.

We understand that construction will commence in February, the foundations will be pile driven from March onwards, and that the whole project will be completed around October 2013.

No formal planning procedure to follow

Update 13th Feb: Further to our own investigation, a planning officer from Southampton City Council (SCC) has confirmed with us that ABP have special permissions and extensive rights as the ‘statutory undertaker’ of dock land – which means that they do not need to seek planning permission with the local authority for the construction of any buildings or structures on ‘operational land’ if it is required ‘for the purposes of shipping or in connection with the loading/unloading of goods or materials’. Whether the structure is considered temporary or permanent is irrelevant, ABP have a ‘blanket grant of permission by the government’ to develop the land as they see fit.

Loss of views across Southampton Water

The new multi-storey car park will obscure the views of Southampton Water for many Ocean Village residents.  Our estimations suggest that homes in Sapphire Court (Splash), Tasman Court, Ocean Way, Atlantic Close and Pacific Close will lose some or all of their views across the water. A number of residents have already been in contact with us to express their concerns and surprise. And it is not only residents that will be affected – some students and faculty members at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) will also lose their views across the water as well as, based on the close proximity of the car park, a significant amount of natural light.

Click to expand: The new ABP multi-storey car park at Southampton's Eastern Docks

Click to expand: The new ABP multi-storey car park at Southampton’s Eastern Docks and its impact on adjacent properties


Increase in noise

In addition to the loss of views, it seems very likely that there will be a substantial increase in noise from this quarter of the Eastern Docks — not only from the thousands of additional vehicles that will be moving around inside the car park, but also from the associated increase in the number of direct deliveries to the compound by car transporters. Ocean Village residents on the south side of the marina will already be familiar with the rumbling lorries that make deliveries to this site at all times of the day and night, and the occasional inconsiderate beeping of their horns.

What do you think?

We would love to know what other Ocean Village residents think of this. Please use the comments box below.

Are you in property law or a planning expert familiar with the planning/development restrictions that apply to the docks? If so we would love to hear from you – you can email us at In the meantime, we will be reaching out to our local politicians and other representatives at both Southampton City Council and ABP for further information and comment. We will release updated information as we have it. If you would like to write to our local politicians to express your views, they can be contacted at:

John Denham, MP
Phone:  023 8033 9807

20-22 Southampton Street
SO15 2ED

Cllr Sarah Bogle
Phone:  023 8021 1510

Cllr John Noon
Phone:  023 8063 8605

Cllr Matt Tucker
Phone:  023 8083 3340

If you would prefer to write, the correspondence address for all three councillors is:
c/o Members’ Services
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
SO14 7LY