Major plan to build hospital campus complex with up to 600 flats for Northampton's nurses unveiled

Up to 600 flats especially for Northampton's nurses and hospital staff could be built near NGH.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:00 am
The top four floors of Riverside Building have stood empty since late 2017.
The top four floors of Riverside Building have stood empty since late 2017.

The top four floors Riverside Building off Bedford Road has stood empty since the office staff of the county council and KierWSP moved out in mid-2017.

Now, developers are eyeing up the tired L-shaped 70s building and its accompanying car parks as pace for a healthcare campus for up to 600 nurses and hospital staff.

Plans have been submitted to convert Riverside House into 200 bedrooms. Meanwhile, two new six-storey flat blocks could be built on the office's car park to create up to 378 more bedrooms.

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Two plans are proposing a combined 600 flats near Northampton General Hospital for healthcare staff and students.

The proposed flats would be earmarked especially for healthcare students, nurses and hospital staff, along with new footpaths into the hospital.

Nurses’ accommodation is currently provided on the hospital site from a number of ageing buildings on the corner of Cheyne Walk and Billing Road.

It comes after Northampton-based investment firm Barwood Capital purchased Riverside House for £4.5 million in December 2016.

Nurses’ accommodation is currently provided on the hospital site from a number of ageing buildings on the corner of Cheyne Walk and Billing Road. However, a report prepared by Barwood says this accommodation is "far from fit for purpose, which in turn gives rise to issues around recruitment and retention of staff."

A floor plan for one the proposed conversion of Riverside House. This floor shows 48 en-suite flats built on one floor.

The proposed flats in the new-build flats - dubbed Florence House - would generally be 12.5 square metres each with ensuite shower rooms and shared kitchens between seven to nine people.

Meanwhile, Riverside House would be converted to make on average 50 ensuite flats per floor.

However, it would only offer a limited number of around 15 parking spaces, claiming that staff would be encouraged to keep their cars at the staff parking on hospital grounds.

It comes as another proposal has been submitted across town to renovate Belgrave House, in Greyfriars, in 124 'worker' flats for residents who plan to work within 10-minutes' walking distance of the block.

Riverside House and its car park could be marked for developments in 600 flats.