Plans unveiled to convert vacant Northampton shopping centre into indoor market, flats, hotel and gym

"We feel confident in now applying for full planning approval."

By Logan MacLeod
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 5:24 pm

Plans have been unveiled to convert a vacant shopping centre in Northampton into a mixed-use complex comprising of an indoor market, a hotel, flats, and a gym.

Safeland PLC has submitted proposals to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to convert the out-of-use Market Walk Shopping Centre in Market Square.

The plans propose to build an indoor market on the ground floor, a pod hotel and five flats on the second floor, 20 flats and a gym on the third floor, 16 flats on the fourth floor, and a creation of an additional fifth floor for 14 flats.

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Fresh plans have been submitted to convert Market Walk into a multi-use complex

These proposals were submitted to WNC, which criticised the plans in a pre-planning advice application, which gives advice to developers.

WNC said of the plans: "Subject to marketing information demonstrating the upper floors are not needed for retail space, the principle of providing residential accommodation on the upper floors is accepted, as is the provision of a pod hotel and open plan market space.

"Concerns are raised, however, as to the impact of the proposal on the character and appearance of the conservation area and neighbouring listed buildings, the design and appearance, and the living conditions provided to future occupiers. It is not considered that the current scheme could be supported should a planning application be submitted."

However, Safeland PLC responded to the majority of the council's criticisms and has now officially submitted the plans for approval.

A Safeland Plc spokesman said: "In answering all of the concerns raised in the pre-application response...the reader should refer to the revised scheme design drawings, which addresses and positively resolves all of the points raised. Consequently, we feel confident in now applying for full planning approval."

Different plans from a different developer were submitted in September to convert Market Walk into a 352 student flat complex. A decision is yet to be made by WNC on that application.

The shopping centre was auctioned in May 2018, where it was bought for £695,000. It was then sold again only five months later in October 2018, where it was bought for £610,000 by Safeland PLC, operated by Errol and Larry Lipman.