Developer bids to turn Northampton's Riverside House car park into 400-flat nursing block

Barwood Capital has lodged plans to turn Riverside house into 400 apartments for nurses and students.
Barwood Capital has lodged plans to turn Riverside house into 400 apartments for nurses and students.
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An investment firm has launched plans to turn tired looking 1970s Northampton office block into a major accommodation block for hospital nurses and students.

Barwood Capital, the Northampton-based investment and development business, purchased Riverside House for £4.5 million in December.

Some Northampton General Hospital staff currently stay in 'not fit for purpose' accommodation next to the site.

Some Northampton General Hospital staff currently stay in 'not fit for purpose' accommodation next to the site.

Back then it was labelled as a 'strategic acquisition' due to its proximity to the new Waterside campus and the hospital.

But it has now lodged plans to turn an area of car park serving the offices into 400 apartments.

The planning documents submitted to the council by Barwood, state: "This development will entail construction of purpose-built nurses’/student accommodation which will give rise to a requirement for reorganised car parking for Riverside House."

The document states that Northampton General Hospital, in common with most NHS Trusts, has 'severe constraints' on capital spending.

Nurses’ accommodation is currently provided on the hospital site from a number of ageing buildings on the corner of Cheyne Walk and Billing Road, however, Barwood says this accommodation is "far from fit for purpose, which in turn gives rise to issues around recruitment and retention of staff."

Riverside House is a 1970’s built five storey office building in an ‘L’ shape that fronts onto Bedford Road.

Currently, it is home to a number of organisations including KierWSP, the county council and the NHS, though KierWSP is understood to be moving into the county council's new One Angel Square by June 30.

The proposals will result in the creation of up to 400 flats either for nurses at the adjacent hospital or for students.

When Barwood bought the office block in December, company spokeswoman Danielle Sheppard said she was 'exploring opportunities that owning a building close to both the hospital and university might bring'.