Plans submitted to convert former offices above shop into HMO in popular Northampton town centre street

Potential issues have been raised over the storage of bins

By Logan MacLeod
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 2:30 pm

Plans have been submitted to convert office space above a former shop into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in a popular Northampton town centre street.

The office space above the former Save The Children charity shop, which sits opposite The Wig and Pen in St Giles Street, could be turned into a four-bed HMO.

The applicant Dash Mezini, of Mezini Properties Ltd, based in Kettering Road, is now waiting on approval from West Northamptonshire Council.

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The former Save The Children shop in St Giles Street could be converted into a HMO

The Town Centre Conservation Area Advisory Committee has raised its concerns with the plans, especially highlighting potential bin issues.

The committee wrote: "Members were concerned that the applicant plans to store bins in an alleyway.

"If bins are stored in public view this will have a negative impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. If they are stored on the main, narrow route into the HMO, this could have an impact on residential amenity."

The committee added: "An overpopulation of HMOs can encourage a transient population and a less diverse community, which, in turn, can affect the vitality and character of the conservation area."

According to the plans, the number of bedrooms has been reduced from eight to four, which was described as an 'improvement' by the council's planning department.

Save The Children is believed the store closed during the pandemic after being in the street since 2001.

The building was built in the 1930s and lies within the Derngate Conservation Area.

On the same street, plans have been submitted to convert the former Coleman's stationery shop into a pizza and loaded fries takeaway.

Objections have been raised with the plans, with some saying the takeaway would not fit in with the 'cultural' aspect of St Giles Street.

The Chron has recently reported on HMOs.

People from across the town attended a meeting at the Guildhall this month (September) to discuss the issues caused by HMOs and what can be done about them.

Councillor Danielle Stone and others have recently been raising their concerns about HMOs for months as they believe they are partly to blame for several issues around Northampton.

These include a lack of parking, fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and undermining their sense of community, as well as links to criminal activity.

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