£2m Northampton community centre set to be approved...but some simply don’t want it

Artists' impressions of the propsed new community centre in St Crispin's.
Artists' impressions of the propsed new community centre in St Crispin's.

Northampton Borough Council’s plans for a £2 million new community centre in St Crispin’s are likely to be approved next week - despite a lukewarm reception from members of the public

The new facility proposed for land off St Crispin Drive is set to include community rooms with a hall, four sports pitches, a café and other facilities including a pre-school group.

The authority’s planning committee is due to discuss the plans at the Guildhall on Tuesday, March 15 - and borough officers have recommended it be approved, though in the revised scheme the originally proposed footprint of the building has been moved further away from a Grade II listed Greek Orthadox church nearby.

A report to the committee says: “The proposed community centre would provide for necessary community facilities while not resulting in any adverse impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

“While the proposal would impact on the setting of the adjacent listed building this would not be significant and would be offset by the wider benefits of the proposal.”

The centre will come with a 54 space car park if approved.

But the scheme has received dozens of objections.

Helen Rees of Frank Large Walk objected on the grounds there were already four nurseries within a 10 minute walk of the site.

Director of the Little Pickle Cafe, Nicola Tipping, questioned the need for another cafe at the new centre when her business is nearby.

She said: “With this development along with the retail development in Upton, this could put my business in a difficult position.”

A petition with more than 70 signatures has been received from the cricket club in St Crispin’s.

“Why not refurbish the cricket area that already has grounds, building and parking,” said Paul Twiss of Frank Large Walk.”

“I still don’t see the need for this building,” said Sarah Harris, also of Frank Large Walk. “It will move the play area nearer the houses which will make more noise and more kids at night and anti-social behaviour.”

The planning committee will decide on the proposals next week.