Council to buy former gas holder land for Â£1.5m and provide new '˜base' for Northampton Partnership Homes
Acres of land once home to a large gas holder in the centre of Northampton could be bought by the borough council for Â£1.5 million as a new HQ for local authority homes.
Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet is set to decide whether to agree terms for the purchase of the former power company building at St Peter’s Way roundabout.
The aim would be to provide new headquarters for Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH), which is currently based at the council’s Westbridge Depot and has around 300 staff.
Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for planning, said: “We said some time ago that our long-term intention was to create a new base for Northampton Partnership Homes.
“Over the last few months we have been undertaking the necessary due diligence on the site.”
The site is currently owned by National Grid and is part of a former gas works that covered a wider area. The four-acre site was subject to a major clear-up between July and December 2014, so it could be marketed for development.
The site contains a building known as Horizon House on its northern edge, which the council would effectively extend to accommodate the NPH staff.
Gas production is believed to have stopped in or around 1968, with the gas holders then remaining in use for storage until 2014.
However, with moves now in place to move Northampton Partnership Homes from the Westbridge Depot, it again calls into question whether the council is still considering the depot as a site for a £150 million gasification plant.
Councillor Rufia Ashraf, (Lab, St James) said: “It’s about time NPH moved out of their Westbridge depot offices and I’m pleased it’s finally happening now.
“The borough council still need to think about the development of the Westbridge site.
“It needs to be regenerated in consultation with the local community. Of course what we don’t want is the monster incinerator on the site.”