Plans to convert another historical boot and shoe factory in Northampton into flats set for approval

A decision is set to be passed next week
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Plans to convert another vacant former boot and shoe factory in Northampton into flats have been recommended for approval.

Proposals to transform number two Clare Street – a former boot and shoe factory in the Mounts – into 14 flats are set to be passed at a West Northants Council (WNC) planning committee meeting next Thursday (December 7).

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The proposed development will be a mix of one and two-bedroom flats located on all floors across the building to ‘make most effective use of the vacant and underutilised spaces within the property’, say WNC.

This vacant former boot and shoe factory in Clare Street is set to be converted into 14 flats with six parking spacesThis vacant former boot and shoe factory in Clare Street is set to be converted into 14 flats with six parking spaces
This vacant former boot and shoe factory in Clare Street is set to be converted into 14 flats with six parking spaces

Planning papers say the building lies within the Boot and Shoe Conservation Area, but is not listed.

The developers, Stamford Cannon Investments, said the proposed development will make a ‘positive contribution towards the current housing supply shortfall across Northampton’ and would make ‘most efficient use of a sustainably located site within an urban area’.

They added: “It is of real significance to note that the proposed development does not involve any major alterations to the exterior appearance of the property, with the only alteration involving the re-opening of basement level windows which are currently infilled. This ensures that the existing appearance of the building is retained and restored as it exists to date.”

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Explaining the reason for the recommended approval, a WNC planning officer said: “Given the site is in a sustainable location, being close to an established residential area and would contribute to the council’s five year land supply the principle is considered acceptable.

"The council’s conservation officer has been consulted and has no objections.

"The argument that there are too many flats in the area and overdevelopment is not considered a reason to resist the application on amenity or policy terms given the size of the building.

"Furthermore, the proposal would bring a vacant building back into use again.”

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The development will provide provision for six car parking spaces, according to plans.

Commenting on this, WNC said: “Whilst this is an under-provision of parking, the site is sustainable being close to a supermarket 250 metres away and approximately 15 minutes walk from Abington Street, and 10 minutes to Kettering Road. The proposal would also provide cycle storage in the basement for 14 cycles to be secured by condition.”

A similar development to this one is currently taking place nearby at the former GT Hawkins factory on the corner of Overstone Road and St Michael’s Road.

The factory is being converted into 89 ‘luxury’ studio, one and two-bedroom flats — named Hawkins Court.

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Elsewhere in the town, Jardine Homes Ltd recently received planning permission to convert the former Bective Works shoe factory, in Kingsthorpe, into 97 homes, including a mix of townhouses, apartments, and refurbished heritage buildings.

A completed redevelopment of a former shoe factory can be found at the Barker Buildings in Countess Road, which overlooks Dallington Brook. The site was converted into 68 ‘affordable’ apartments during the pandemic.

WNC has recently announced its own plans of bringing a historical part of the town back to life. The council revealed this month that it had bought the former St James Bus Depot for £3.2m to convert into houses.

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