Council set to approve NPH bid to buy former Uni campus for ‘affordable’ homes

The former Avenue university campus is set to be purchased by the borough council so it can deliver ‘affordable housing’ on the site.
The Avenue campus is likely to be purchased by Northampton Partnership Homes.The Avenue campus is likely to be purchased by Northampton Partnership Homes.
The Avenue campus is likely to be purchased by Northampton Partnership Homes.

Planning permission was recently granted by the council’s planning committee for 170 homes to be built on the St George’s Avenue site. It will see parts of the Maidwell building demolished, and the rest of the building utilised for 58 flats.

Now the borough council’s cabinet is set to approve a bid from its property company Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) to acquire the site, which will also include the Newton Building.

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In June 2020, the University of Northampton commenced a marketing campaign to sell the campus and on behalf of the council, NPH submitted a bid to purchase the site during a competitive bidding process.

The campus is in the town centre next to the Racecourse.The campus is in the town centre next to the Racecourse.
The campus is in the town centre next to the Racecourse.

And it is this bid that the cabinet is likely to approve when it meets next Wednesday (December 16) – though the costs have been made exempt from public knowledge due to commercial sensitivities.

What is clear though is that extra cash will have to be found to implement the affordable homes. The planning application that was approved, and had been submitted by the University, contained no affordable homes in the proposals due to viability issues.

According to the cabinet report, this means that: “Subsidy will be needed to make it viable for the council and NPH to deliver affordable housing on the Avenue Campus site. The provision of affordable housing can be achieved by securing grant funding from Homes England or using Right to Buy receipts from the sale of council homes.”