Plans to demolish shop in busy Northampton road and convert it into cash-cow set to be refused
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Major plans to demolish a shop in a busy Northampton road and convert it into a massive cash-cow have been recommended for refusal.
Proposals to demolish The Family Shopper store in Wellingborough Road and replace it with a brand new three-storey building comprising a ground floor shop and 10 new residential flats (eight one-bed flats, and two two-beds) are set to be refused at a West Northants Council planning committee meeting on Thursday (November 9).
The going rate for a one-bed flat on Wellingborough Road is around £800 – £900 per calendar month. Times that by 10 and the applicant, Mr. G Sivasambo, could be earning roughly £9,000 per month from the proposed site.
The application however has faced stiff opposition from residents living in close proximity to the site. Residents on Portland Place and Exeter Place highlighted a host of issues, including worries about parking, noise pollution, littering, and potential anti-social behaviour if the plans are approved.
Labour councillor Danielle Stone, representing the Castle ward, has been a vocal critic of the proposal from the outset and has already lodged her objections. She previously said: “This is another example of a developer's greed. We need quality homes, not cheap rabbit hutches." Councillor Stone has also said the proposal constitutes overdevelopment, and she believes it will only add more pressure to an area that is already facing significant challenges.
Dee O'Neill, a long-time resident who has called the estate home since the 1980s, is also among those who have raised concerns. She was taken aback when she first saw the plans, saying: "To knock down Family Shopper and replace it with a three-storey building, on such a small piece of land, is a shock." She went on to voice the sentiments of many residents by adding: “No wonder the residents are in an uproar about these plans. There's no consideration."
The objections have triggered a thorough review of the key planning issues, with the council’s planning officers recommending the plans for refusal, concluding that the proposal is unacceptable for two primary reasons: loss of privacy and overbearing presence, and surface water drainage concerns.