48 new Abington Street flats given planning permission by Northampton Borough Council

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An Abington Street commercial block will be extended and have 48 new flats added to it - with councillors welcoming additional housing in the town centre.

The block, which runs from 71-77b and has chains such as KFC as part of it, will be refurbished with a couple of extra storeys and more blocks built behind the shop frontage after it won planning approval on Tuesday evening (July 3) at Northampton Borough Council.

Eli Pine, speaking for the applicants LDI Northampton (Development) Ltd, told the committee they had owned the site for almost a decade, and had purchased it originally as a commercial opportunity.

He said: “We have always been optimistic however it’s been clear that the town centre, despite the best efforts of everyone, has seen a decline in the area and an increase in vacant shops. This is leading to a reduction of footfall.

“The retail landscape even in the last six months has changed for the worse. We have recently lost Boots and RBS in our block. We have taken risks with backing new businesses, with mixed results.”

John Freeman, representing the architects Church Lukas, said: “It will make a positive contribution to the streetscape of Abington Street, and is a robust development that will bring people back into the town and re-energise the area.”

The scheme won the approval of councillors on the planning committee, who granted permission.

Councillor Arthur McCutcheon, who sits on the panel, said: “This is a thoughtful and very good way of using this particular development. It’s a decided improvement on what’s currently there.”