Plans to build more than 300 student flats in a residential street have been thrown out after serious concerns were raised over parking and anti-social behaviour.
Developers wanted to demolish the old Bective Works shoe factory and Jabez House industrial building in Bective Road, Kingsthorpe, and replace them with 320 flats and 34 car parking spaces.
But opponents said the plans would cause traffic chaos in the area, as it would be impossible to stop students parking in the free spaces in the street and outside the shops in Kingsthorpe. They also said it would cause “noise and disturbance”.
The proposal was rejected at a meeting of Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.
Speaking against the proposals, resident Patricia Masters said: “The university is relocating to Bedford Road, so these flats are no more attractive to students than any other out-of-town area.
“Traders will lose their entire customer parking for no benefit. We have free car parking and it is vital to the economy. It could be devastating for the area.”
Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Obelisk), cabinet member for housing also spoke as a member of the public. She said: “This development is likely to result in noise, disturbance and parking issues, to the detriment of the community.”
Plans were initially granted by the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) in 2006 for 152 flats but these were never built.
Venulum Property Investments Ltd then applied to build a six-storey block of 406 flats but that application was refused in 2011.
The same applicant re-submitted the plans on a smaller scale, including a management plan to ensure “neighbourly conduct” by students.
Ian Ayres, highway consultant for the applicant, claimed that few students took a car with them to halls, and Simon Avery, agent for the applicant, added: “So far as noise and anti-social behaviour is concerned, management is very stringent on this.”
But planning committee member, Councillor Dennis Meredith (Lib, Talavera), said: “I am against it completely. It should not be built.”
The plans were rejected on the grounds that they would be detrimental to the character of the area due to the scale, and would cause noise and disturbance for residents.