Nearly 200 new flats to be built on Northampton university site

Waterside Campus might see nearly 200 more residents move in.
Waterside Campus might see nearly 200 more residents move in.

One hundred and eighty-eight student flats and three new academic buildings are set to be built on Waterside Campus.

The university’s development of the Waterside site received outline planning permission in September 2014 to build 188 more student flats as well as a fine art and performance hub, teaching hub and research hub.

The university, at the time, were not granted outline permission for every building they applied to build, however they retained the option to do so in the future.

Last week residents in neighbouring streets to the new campus received letters to inform them that the build is set to take place - but this was met with criticism.

Councillor Julie Davenport (Ind, Delapre and Briar Hill) said residents are forever approaching her to talk about anti-social behaviour in the area, increased noise pollution and traffic congestion.

"The residents feel they’ve suffered enough," she said.

"The yellow lines have solved most of the dreadful parking issues but not the other issues. Although, the university have been very good in trying to deal with issues at the forums for residents but there’s only so much they can do.

"When I asked the university why they built the halls of residence next to a residential area I was told they did it in the hope the students would become part of the local community. It didn’t happen unfortunately."

In February this year a video taken by a neighbour in Southfield Avenue, Far Cotton, showed how a house party spilt out onto the street in the early hours of the morning. Students later apologised to residents after admitting it got out of hand.

Neighbours, at the time, said a DJ with a microphone and speakers was reportedly set up in the back garden, and some residents claim the number of people in the house on the night was in the hundreds.

In November 2018 - fed-up neighbours submitted petitions to Northampton Borough Council calling on them to help improve the parking situation near the university campus.

It included a petition with more than 50 signatures from residents of Thomas Chapman Grove calling for parking permits to be implemented in the area. Meanwhile, 27 residents from Malthouse Close also submitted their own petition calling for double yellow lines to be painted to prevent university students and staff parking in front of their drives.

A spokeswoman for The University of Northampton said: "The next step to ensure the university can retain the option of enhancing the site through additional facilities and future development is to submit reserved matters applications to the Borough Council.

"These reserved matters applications provide the detailed design of the new buildings that were already approved in 2014 and will give the university the permission to build them in the future.

“The university has been, and will continue, to work closely with local residents through the community forum. This forum offers local residents the chance to meet representatives from across the university to talk about all aspects of our integration to the community of Far Cotton and develop ways we can work together to benefit the area.”