‘Overwhelming’ and out of keeping - Northampton flats plan told to go back to the drawing board

The plan is to turn FMS Motors into a block of flats and a large convenience store. But there has been little support for the scheme.

The plan is to turn FMS Motors into a block of flats and a large convenience store. But there has been little support for the scheme.

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Plans to turn a former Northampton car showroom into flats and a shop are almost certain to be thrown out because the proposed building would be “overwhelming” - a councillor claims.

Venulum Trinity Limited wants to demolish the building once used by FMS Limited used car sales on the corner of Kingsthorpe Grove and Stanhope Road and turn it into a four-storey block of 14 flats

The plan is to turn FMS Motors into a block of flats and a large convenience store. But there has been little support for the scheme.

The plan is to turn FMS Motors into a block of flats and a large convenience store. But there has been little support for the scheme.

The ground floor would also comprise of a 300 square metre retail unit, which will be a convenience store.

But planning officers at Northampton Borough Council say the plans, drawn up by architects David Lock Associates, should be turned down “by virtue of its design and appearance and the poor quality of design.”

It adds that the block of flats would be an “incongruous feature in a prominent position.”

Labour Councillor Jane Birch, (Lab, Trinity) called in the planning application to be decided by the borough council’s planning board on Tuesday, April 12, because she also believe the building to be “totally out of context with its surroundings.”

She said: “This is going to be in a prominent position, right on a mini roundabout and two storeys bigger than anything else in the area.

“It will block out all the light to the houses on Kingsley Road, it will be completely overwhelming.”

Also 25 members of the public have written in to object to the plans - and they have been joined by their local MP Michael Ellis.

He was concerned that the land proposed for the development is protected by a deed of covenant restricting the height of buildings in the area, dominated by Victorian era properties.

Numerous other concerns centre around how delivery lorries would get down Stanhope Road, which is lined with cars on both sides at all hours of the day.

And the proposed car park for the flats and the shop sits 100 metres away on Trinity Avenue.

Venulum Trinity Limited will have a chance to make representations at the planning committee meeting at the Guildhall next week.