Plans unveiled to convert former iconic building society branch in Northampton into gambling shop

The applicant said no external changes will be made to the building other than the restoration of the cash point outside

By Logan MacLeod
Friday, 24th September 2021, 8:30 am

Plans have been unveiled to convert a former iconic building society branch in Northampton town centre into a gambling shop.

Proposals to convert the former Nationwide building in the Drapery have been submitted by Star MK Ltd to West Northamptonshire Council for approval.

Star MK Ltd said 'no harm' would be caused to the outside of the building, which is located in the All Saints Conservation Area.

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The former Nationwide branch could be converted into a gambling shop

However, according to the plans, there would be conversion work inside and the restoration of a removed cash point outside, formerly in Mercers Row.

The applicant said in planning papers: "We submit that no harm will be caused to this heritage asset. Indeed, the reverse may be argued since the proposed change of use, plus the conversion work, will bring the whole building back to life."

Star MK Ltd added: "The proposed change of use keeps the status quo in terms of shopping floor space and frontage.

"This use will create footfall around the town centre."

Another, separate application from a different applicant was approved last year to convert the same ground floor into a café.

Star MK Ltd addressed this issue in its plans, saying that "no work has started yet" on the café.

Work is also currently ongoing to convert the upper floors of the four-storey building into six flats.

Star MK Ltd had plans approved earlier this year to convert the former Moon on the Square pub into a bingo hall and 13 flats.

Nationwide moved from the Drapery in 2019 after more than two decades. It relocated to Abington Street, where it still operates from.