Plans to convert 'nightmare' Grade II listed vacant shoe factory in Northampton into 97 new homes recommended for approval
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Proposals to transform the derelict Bective Works site in Kingsthorpe into a residential development have been resubmitted to West Northants Council (WNC).
The redevelopment, spearheaded by Jardine Homes Ltd, aims to breathe new life into the area by creating 97 homes, including a mix of townhouses, apartments, and refurbished heritage buildings. The plans involve both the demolition of some existing structures and the conversion of the listed building, Enterprise House.
Currently, the Bective Works site stands as a vacant industrial development associated with Northampton's historic shoe-making industry. The site is divided into two parts, with the western portion housing 20th-century industrial buildings in poor condition and scrubland. The eastern portion contains the Grade II listed Enterprise House, along with a contemporary two-story extension that once served as offices, a workshop, and more recently, as retail space and a youth gym, according to planning papers.
The proposed development is split into three distinct areas within the site. It includes a modern apartment block with 65 flats, a conversion of the listed building to accommodate a mix of 11 apartments and townhouses, and a cluster of 21 terraced houses. Access to the site would primarily be through Bective Road, leading to a communal parking area, as well as a one-way through road connecting to Yelvertoft Road, which serves the undercroft parking area beneath the listed building, according to planning papers.
One of the major features of the proposal is the inclusion of parking spaces, with the larger communal parking area offering room for 90 vehicles. Notably, 59 of these parking spaces would be located within the undercroft parking area, while the remaining 31 spaces would be situated in the external area adjacent to the site access and the rear of terraced properties along Yelvertoft Road.
However, the project has not been without controversy. Nine letters of objection have been received, with residents and other stakeholders voicing their concerns. Concerns include the impact of increased traffic during construction, potential harm to air quality and noise pollution, the scale of the development not being in keeping with the local area, and the safety of new access points. Some have also questioned the need for more housing in the area.
Speaking to the Chron in July, resident Anthony Ward, aged 73, said living next to the abandoned Bective Works building had become a living ‘nightmare’ for residents following multiple arson attacks at the Grade II listed property.
Plans have been previously approved to convert the site into 356 student flats. However, planning officers said ‘this has not come forwards’.
A WNC planning officer said: “It is understood that the university has since relocated onto a new site and therefore, the authority considers that the student accommodation proposal is unlikely to come forwards. The site does not conform to modern day warehousing or industrial standards and bringing the site into such uses is considered unlikely. Therefore, the residential use on the site is considered to be it’s optimum viable use.”
WNC is set to make a decision on the 97 homes plans at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday (November 8).