Plans approved for fire-hit building in Abington Street, Northampton

The building as it looks today
The building as it looks today

Work is ready to begin at a building at the top of Northampton's main shopping street which caught fire last year.

The upper floors of number 112-116 Abington Street were severely damaged by flames when the building caught fire in June last year.

The blaze caused the roof to collapse and the efforts of firefighters to control the flames resulted in water damage.

Currently empty while it is being rebuilt, the building is to become home to eight one-bedroom flats. The flats would be constructed on the first and second floors, with the basement and ground floors retained as retail use.

Documents written by architects Stimpson, Walton Bond said, unlike many recent renovations in the town centre, the flats will not by aimed at students.

It says: "The proposal seeks to provide the new accommodation within a sympathetic development within the existing building envelope.

"The applicants' brief is to provide good quality accommodation of interesting character, which will not be targeting the student accommodation market."

The existing building was built in the mid nineteenth century as a Baptist Chapel and from the records appears to have closed a century later.

The building now occupies a corner plot at the junction of Abington Street and York Road although historical maps show it had buildings either side originally.

The main Abington Street and York Road elevation is considered of some architectural value, and therefore no material change has been proposed to these elevations as part of the application.

Stimpson Walton Bond said the building has not been fully let for for some time.

The documents says: "When the current occupier relocated in 2016 it has only managed to be partially let for some of the time.

"One of the main reasons for the limited viability is the lack of viable business parking spaces nearby for both the employees and members of public visiting the site.

"The partial conversion of the property to flats will continue to build on and improve the local area by bringing more people into the town centre and increasing the use of local businesses and facilities.

"There is no parking associated with this site, which therefore lends itself to occupiers who will live and work in the town centre or take advantage of the local public transport systems."