Flats plan for former office block in Northampton town centre looks set to go ahead

Plan would create 122 apartments in 11-storey building

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:57 pm
Belgrave House
Belgrave House

An office block which has stood empty in Northampton town centre for years is set to be transformed into 122 apartments to provide affordable housing.

Belgrave House in Greyfriars has been empty for more than seven years and Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) has applied to convert the building and add two upper floors.

The application will be discussed at a meeting of the borough council’s planning committee tomorrow (March 16). A report to councillors recommends the application is approved subject to conditions.

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The report states the development would ‘represent a regeneration opportunity in the town centre and contribute to the council’s five year housing land supply.’

The site comprises a nine-storey office building with an 11 storey lift/stairwall tower to the eastern side that is attached to the Grosvenor Shopping Centre and a multi-storey car park.

The plan would create 70 one bedroom units and 52 two bedroom units over 11 storeys in total.

External alterations would see the removal of the existing precast concrete panels and glazing that spans the building. There would floor to ceiling glazing incorporating Juliette balconies, stained glass feature panels running the full height of the nine residential floors with vertical lettering and clock features also added to the extended building.

There would also be be a roof top garden for residents and photovoltaic panels to generate electricity from sunlight.

The apartments would use the existing pedestrian access ways to Belgrave House comprising an external entrance off Greyfriars and in internal entrance from Grosvenor Shopping Centre.

There would also be new pedestrian access created from the top floor of the Grosvenor Centre multi-storey car park. The proposal also includes alterations to the existing layby on Greyfriars and new crossing points and footways to the Greyfriars site to connect in the footway in Lady’s Lane.

NPH has indicated the top floors of the car park could be used by residents however it is not within the markation area of the application site. Car parking does not form part of the proposal.

The report states the application proposals were approved in principle by the planning committee on July 28 last year subject to conditions and a Section 106 Legal Agreement to secure 100 per cent on-site affordable housing.

The plans have not changed but the application brought back to committee as the S106 agreement has not been completed as the council has acquired ownership of the property and is not legally able to enter into an agreement with itself.

A conclusion to the report states: ‘that as a result of the council acquiring the ownership of the property, there is certainty that the development would be delivered in its entirety as affordable housing.

‘As such a Section 106 Legal Agreement is no longer required and it is considered the proposals are acceptable subject to the conditions as previously agreed.’