All the planning applications approved in Northampton this week

The borough council's planning committee met this week at The Guildhall
The borough council's planning committee met this week at The Guildhall

Councillors met this week to determine a series of planning applications in Northampton.

The borough council’s planning committee convened at The Guildhall on Tuesday (October 22), and approved all seven applications that they heard. Here’s a rundown of their decisions.

APPROVED: Proposed conversion of factory to 25 new flats, demolition of single storey projection and removal of dormer at 69b Kettering Road.

Councillors waved through plans from the Elsevier Group to convert the former Dickens Bros leatherworks factory into 25 new flats. The factory was built in the late 1800s, but Dickens Bros was voluntarily liquidated last month. The council heard that the building was in a poor state of repair, but it will now have a lease of life as homes for residents. The factory is sandwiched between St Michael’s Road and Dunster Road, just off Kettering Road. Read more on this decision here.

APPROVED: Reserved matters for 132 new homes, public open space and associated development at former Parklands Middle School site on Devon Way.

This scheme already had outline approval back in January, and this meeting saw councillors effectively rubber-stamp the appearance and layout of the estate. Ward councillor Mike Hallam joined residents in saying that the lack of bungalows at the site meant it was ‘out of keeping with the neighbouring area. All but one of the councillors voted the revised scheme through, however. The estate will be known as Kingsland Park. More information about this decision can be found here.

APPROVED: Change of use from betting shop to hairdresser/beauty salon, incorporating small ice cream kiosk at 8 Newnham Road.

The site consists of a former betting shop located along a parade of five commercial units that includes a convenience store, a supermarket and a hot food takeaway. There is a separate flat above the application site. Councillor Jane Birch said: “I’m delighted its life as a betting shop is now over, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the ice cream and beauty salon will complement each other.”

APPROVED: Change of use of ground-floor retail unit to House in Multiple Occupation for six occupants at 11-13 Gold Street.

The site is adjacent to Kingswell Street and Woolmonger Street. It is a largely unused storage area relating to an existing opticians store which fronts Gold Street. However, the shop would be retained and access to the proposed HMO would be taken from Kingswell Street. At first floor above the site is the Travel Lodge. Planning committee chairman Councillor Brian Oldham said: “This is one of the most spacious HMOs I can ever remember seeing.”

APPROVED: Variation of condition to increase the size of an extension at Blackthorn Community Centre.

Back in May 2018, the committee approved a single storey side extension to the existing community centre to provide a youth function room. The current application wants to increase the height by half a metre. The design of the extension remains substantially the same, and councillors quickly gave it permission.

APPROVED: Demolition of 11 domestic garages and erection of one new bungalow at lock-up garages in Connaught Street.

An emotionally charged debate was held as councillors listened to an 88-year-old resident who wanted to retain his garage for the last years of his life. Although he had been offered a new garage by applicants Northampton Partnership Homes, he said he would not be mobile enough to get to it as it was further away. A representative from NPH said they had made multiple attempts to meet and discuss the issue with the resident. Planning chairman Cllr Brian Oldham said: “This application would be better suited in Elm Street, because it’s a nightmare. As sympathetic as I am to the gentleman’s situation, we have to judge these things on planning grounds, and I cannot see a reason to reject it.” The decision to abolish the garages was narrowly voted through, with four votes in favour, two against and three abstentions. Councillors told NPH representatives that they could wait for three years to do the construction work, with a number appearing to strongly advise NPH to take that route.

APPROVED: Demolition of eight domestic garages and construction of two new homes on land to rear of 33 Southwood Hill.

The final application of the evening, also from Northampton Partnership Homes, was approved quickly by councillors.