Residents fear 'overflowing bins and stuffed car parks' if new fourth floors are added to Northampton housing blocks

A public consultation to build a new floor on a block of Northampton social housing flats has been met with concerns for overstuffed bins and packed car parks.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:53 pm
A resident's photos of Woodstock's bins and car park even before a new floor is added.

A plan has been put to the borough council to construct a new, fourth floor on top of Dover Court, in St James, and Woodstock, in Billing Road, in a bid to 'build upwards' and create 34 more flats.

But with the consultation set to close this week (April 28), so far residents have only written to object to the plan.

The plans do not make room for new parking spaces or extra bins.

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NPH hope to add a new floor to Dover Court and Woodstock.

But one resident emailed the borough council with photos of Woodstock's communal bins overflowing and its car park already at full capacity.

They wrote: "[The pictures show] the bins overflowing [...} and a typical view of the car park. You can also see cars parked outside the gates on double yellow lines, a situation that will only worsen with additional occupants there.

"The plan doesn't include extra capacity for either waste storage or parking."

Woodstock is at the junction of Billing Road and Cliftonville Road and is close to where ambulances leave NGH A&E.

An artist's impression of how a new floor with 17 flats would be added to Dover Court.

Another resident wrote to say they feared the building's foundations would not cope with the new floor and would 'place our homes at serious risk'. Another complained nothing in the plan would benefit current tenants or the look of the nearby area.

Meanwhile, residents at Dover Court have told the Chronicle and Echo they have mixed feelings about the build and are concerned it will put pressure on how people live there.

One resident living on the third floor said: "Well, I'm not looking forward to it anyway.

"I've been told it won't involve any crane work and they will build it like flat-pack furniture. But I would still be living under a building site.

A resident's photo of Woodstock's communal bins one morning.

"No one wants scaffolding all over their building.

"It makes me think are they going to move us out at some point while they build it."

But another resident said: "I think it's a good idea. Why not? We need to build more flats. There are people out on the streets who need homes."

Meanwhile, Northamptonshire County Council's Highways team objected to the Dover Court plan as it would not create any new parking spaces.

A resident's photo of the Woodstock car park at full capacity.

Northampton Partnership Homes, who manage the buildings, also want to build another floor or flats to the Woodstock building in Billing Road in a similar plan.

The public consultation for Woodstock has had three letters of objection, with concerns there would be no extra parking spaces to handle more residents and that bins would be overflowing with more household waste.

Assistant director of asset management and development Helen Town said: "This is an increasingly popular build type and will allow us to build more council homes for single people close to the town centre.

"If planning is approved, we can promise 34 new Council homes for people looking to live close to the town centre."