‘Overwhelming’ flats scheme in Northampton to come back before planning board...for the third time

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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Developers wanting to build a block of flats on a former car garage in Northampton will be hoping it will be third time lucky when the scheme goes before the planning committee again next week.

Velunum Trinity wants to build 14 apartments and a shop on the corner of Kingsthorpe Grove and Stanhope Road, but its plans have previously been turned down on the grounds of design.

How the plan for flats and convenience store would look.

How the plan for flats and convenience store would look.

The scheme has garnered more than 150 individual objections, in which people have described it as “overwhelming, “out of keeping,”

- and in one case like a ”70s office block.”

It had gone before the planning committee in both April and June, but developers were sent back to redraw their plans.

Velunum Trinity has now made the scheme smaller, got rid of an unpopular “colonnade feature”, has reduced the roof height and introduced a more “active” frontage onto Kingsthorpe Grove.

It will go in front of the next planning committee on Tuesday.

But despite the amendments many objectors are still unimpressed by the new designs.

A report compiled by planning officers shows Queen’s Park Residents’ Association has objected to the ammended plans.

The report says the residents group still believes the “design and appearance...represent poor quality and an incongruous feature in a prominent position.

“The minimal alterations made do not change this position.”

Councillor jane Birch (Lab, Trinity) who called the plans in for decision by committee, also remains unimpressed by the alterations.

The report says Councillor Birch “Acknowledge(s) many objections have been addressed, however he design and mass of the proposed building, remains unacceptable to local residents.

“The corner remains four storeys high and as such is the only building of that height on the estate.”

The planning committee meeting will take place in the Jeffrey Room of the Guildhall at 6pm on Tuesday (July 5)