Plans for 1,200-student accommodation block in Northampton’s Waterside set for approval

The new Wateside university campus is set to feature terraced housing styled student accommodation blocks and a 32-bed hotel.
The new Wateside university campus is set to feature terraced housing styled student accommodation blocks and a 32-bed hotel.

Detailed proposals for a 1,200-bed university student accommodation block and “hotel school” in Northampton’s Waterside area are likely to be approved at a planning board meeting next week.

While outline permission had already been given for living facilities at the £330 million new University of Northampton campus at the former Nunn Mills power station site, borough councillors will decide on whether to grant the proposed “siting, scale and appearance”, of the development at the planning committee on Tuesday, November 24.

The planning application includes a five-storey halls of residence and a number of 12-bedroom student houses of four storeys in height.

A spokeswoman for the university said a consultation event held in July revealed a greater desire for students to live in house-style accommodation as opposed to the usual halls block.

“Our students are telling us they want these types of facilities,” she said. “It’s a trend universities across the sector are finding.”

To the south of the site, it proposed a 32-bedroom hotel that would be used for conferences in much the same way the Sunley Centre operates the current Park Campus.

The hotel would also be used to give hands-on experience to students on the university’s travel and tourism and events management courses.

A “multi-faith chaplaincy,” health centre, convenience store and bank are also included in the plans, which are recommended for approval.

A report prepared by borough council officers for the planning board on Tuesday, states: “It is considered that buildings of acceptable design have been proposed, which have a neutral impact on neighbour amenity and positively contribute to the regeneration of this key site.”

Plans for a new student union in the Grade II Listed former railway engine shed to the south of the proposed site will be dealt with by a separate planning application.