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‘True gentleman’ who helped shape Northampton dies aged 87

Well respected Sat Bachan Singh Sehmi (front) shows councillors and the police around the St Edmunds site.

Well respected Sat Bachan Singh Sehmi (front) shows councillors and the police around the St Edmunds site.

A developer who played a large part in shaping the way Northampton looks today has died aged 87.

Sat Bachan Singh Sehmi came to England in 1952 where he studied to become a structural and civil engineer.

He returned to Kenya in 1958 and helped design a 14-storey building for the
Public Works Department, which later became the President’s office.

He was then recruited by Northampton Borough Council to work on the town’s expansion and as chief engineer, designed the sewage works at Little 
Billing, the town’s multi-storey car parks and worked on bridge designs in and around
Northampton.

Following his retirement in 1979, he joined the family business, Rochmills, and built developments including the former Suzuki garage in Burleigh Road and the Grafton Street garages.

A Rochmills spokesman said: “Mr Sehmi was a true gentleman, and was known widely throughout Northampton for his skill, business sense, personality and his ready smile.”

Over the past decade, Mr Sehmi had been involved in plans to redevelop the former St Edmund’s Hospital building in Wellingborough Road, which was owned by Rochmills.

He oversaw the development of the Fusion Restaurant and Tesco Express on part of the site, but the main buildings of the former hospital remained derelict when they were sold by Rochmills to a firm based in Cyprus in 2012.

Other projects overseen by Mr Sehmi during his time with Rochmills included the expansion of the Honda garage in Moulton, the conversion of Burlington House in Wellingborough Road and the building of Burlington Hall Care Home in Woburn Sands.

He died on December 23.

 

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