Huge Northampton town centre office block to become home for almost 250 students

Belgrave House
Belgrave House

A total of 9,920 sq ft of floor space in a Northampton town centre office block, which has been empty for more than four years, will be transformed into student accommodation.

A change of use application for Belgrave House in Greyfriars has been made to Northampton Borough council lots, who are set to approve the request.

The plan is to create dedicated student accommodation for a maximum of 248 residents in 64 studio apartments and 184 single bedrooms.

The rooms will be arranged in clusters of four or six, each with its own communal kitchen and other facilities.

Plans for the ground floor include a gym, social room and a laundrette.

A loss of office space in the town centre goes against the National Planning Policy Framework, but the design and internal layout "do not meet modern business needs", according to town planners.

Belgrave House has been wholly vacant for more than four years, and during that time there has been no meaningful interest despite it being marketed heavily.

"Given the period of time that the building has been vacant and the apparent lack of interest from commercial occupiers, it is therefore considered appropriate to consider the merits of alternative uses for the site, particularly given its prominence and scale," reads the planning application.

The development would have a reception, which would ensure a permanent staff member's presence on site.

Tenants will only be able to access the sections of the building relevant to where their room is, in order to minimise the risk of unauthorised access to different parts of Belgrave House.