Council responds to Chron readers' concerns over long list of planning applications to build flats in Northampton
Plans to build flats in Northampton is a 'good sign', says council's housing minister
The Northampton official in charge of housing says the long list of planning applications to build flats in the town is a 'good sign'.
There is currently around 30 applications which have either been submitted or approved to build flats in the town.
A lot of the homes are set to be one-bed or student flats, with many former iconic buildings in Northampton, like Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, The Romany pub, the former Moon on the Square pub and many more community institutions earmarked to be converted.
Many residents on the Chronicle & Echo's social media have voiced their concerns over the future of Northampton, with some now dubbing the town 'Flathampton'.
The Chron put these concerns to the council and asked why so many flat plans are being submitted and approved, and asked for an explanation about how this could benefit the town.
Councillor Adam Brown, the new West Northamptonshire Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Housing, responded to this newspaper's request.
Cllr Brown said: "We have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that a full range of housing needs are met.
“People tend to have different housing needs as they go through different stages of their lives.
"Young, single people or couples may often choose to live in the town centre, where they can easily access employment, culture and leisure facilities.
"Families need different housing, and as people get older they may have higher income and be able to afford to live in a house.
“It is a good sign, if people choose to live in town, and if developers consider that Northampton town centre is worth investing in.
"It shows that our ambitious regeneration plans are already working to attract investors and people who want to live, work and spend their leisure time in Northampton.”
The councillor has been asked follow up questions about whether the 'full range of housing needs' are being met, given that the majority of applications are either student flats or one-bed flats.