PLANNING chiefs are studying proposals to transform the eastern entrance to a Hampshire town by redeveloping a site dominated by advertising hoardings.

An application to "regenerate" part of Commercial Road in Totton by building a block of 11 flats has been submitted to the district council.

Consent is being sought to bulldoze the hoardings and three neighbouring buildings - two houses and a commercial unit.

Describing the proposed development as a "vast improvement" on the site's current appearance the application says the existing buildings have no merit and fail to create a welcoming approach to the town centre.

Totton councillor David Harrison said: "The buildings are very old and unsightly.

"The plans are in tune with meeting housing need and I hope the district council will support them. I imagine the properties will be very popular, given the location close to the town centre."

The application says: "Commercial Road, as its name suggests has a strong commercial use but this is interspersed with various residential properties along its length.

"The road is a main route into the centre of Totton.

"The existing buildings on the site, coupled with several plots along the road which act as gaps within the street scene, do not create a welcoming approach into the town."

Permission is being sought to replace the buildings - and the hoardings - with a two-storey block of flats.

The application says: "A narrow vehicular access is located at the western edge of the site. This is close to the bend in the road and is considered dangerous, given that cars use the rear area for parking.

"The proposal shifts the vehicular access to the eastern edge of the site away from the bend.

"In addition, the setback positioning of the new building allows for potential widening of the pavement to improve pedestrian safety.

"The replacement of the existing tired buildings and removal of advertising hoardings will greatly enhance the street scene and should be welcomed."