Revised plans for conversion of former shoe factory in Rushden

The former Grensons site in Rushden
The former Grensons site in Rushden

New plans have been submitted for the conversion of a former shoe factory which helped shape Rushden’s growth into flats.

Westleigh Developments Ltd secured planning permission to turn the Grade II listed building on the corner of Upper Queen Street and Cromwell Road in Rushden into 16 flats in 2014.

However, the firm is now asking for permission to reduce the number of flats to 14 two-bedroom units so they can add an en-suite to each of them.

The site used to be occupied by Grensons until the firm moved out to new modern premises at Crown Park in the town in 2013.

Grensons was just one of many firms from the footwear industry which played a huge role in Rushden’s growth, with more than 100 boot and shoe factories in the town in the mid-1900s.

East Northants Council’s planning management committee will consider the plans next week, and a report prepared for councillors ahead of the meeting states: “The factory is a good example of the former success of local boot and shoe industry and is one of the most well preserved factories in Rushden.”

It also states on several occasions that the original plans were considered acceptable by members of the committee two years ago, and the only real difference between the previous application and the current one is the reduction of two units.

Planning officers have recommended that the revised plans are granted subject to the signing of a Section 106 agreement within six months of the decision to secure the required developer contributions in addition to the imposition of the recommended conditions.

The plans, due to be considered at the meeting starting at 7pm on Wednesday, June 1, at the council offices in Thrapston, are to convert the listed building to form 14 two-bedroom flats including demolition of the 20th century extension and north light sheds.

If approved, all of the proposed flats would be for sale on the open market.

For more information about Grensons, which is in its 150th year of business and now sells shoes all over the world, click here