Plans unveiled to DEMOLISH Debenhams store in Northampton and turn it into hundreds of student flats

Debenhams has been a presence in the town centre since 1952

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 1:55 pm

Plans have been unveiled to build 201 student flats in the empty three-storey Debenhams building in the Drapery, Northampton.

The proposals have been submitted to Northampton Borough Council by luxury student property specialists, Zone.

According to the plans, the building's three storeys would include a retail unit, bicycle store, bin storage, entertainment rooms, a lounge, gym, laundry room, flats, alongside study spaces and rooftop terraces, which will "allow views out across the surrounding town".

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Debenhams in the Drapery

In a design and access statement, the proposals have also outlined the lack of natural daylight in the centre of the building, so to combat this the developers plan to create a central courtyard by demolishing the middle section of the former retail store.

The design and access statement reads: "The principal move is to create a new central courtyard within the centre of the urban block. This courtyard will provide light and outlook to the residential accommodation and generate a social heart to the development and engender a sense of community.

"The aim is to create a friendly, safe community within the historic fabric of Northampton."

Access to the building will be from the Drapery, with secondary entrances from Swan Yard Lane and College Street.

This is what the developers say the building could look like

To view the plan in its entirety, click here.

In April last year, a month into the Covid lockdown, Debenhams called in administrators and started to close down stores across the UK. At the time, Northampton was not on the list for closures. Towards the end of the year, Debenhams then started to wind down its Northampton store, with JD Sports understood to be in pole position in a sale process initiated by Debenhams’ administrators. However, in December last year, the store said it would continue to seek a buyer after JD Sports pulled out of the proposed takeover for 128 Debenhams UK stores — including the one in the Drapery.

Debenhams has been a presence in Northampton since 1952 when it bought the Adnitt Brothers store in the Drapery, rebranding it in 1973.

Read More

Read More
Northampton's Debenhams store facing closure after takeover deal collapses
Developers said the centre of the store's lack of daylight rendered it unusable
The courtyard would be on the ground floor
The middle section of the store could be "hollowed out" to make way for a courtyard
This is what the College Street side of the store could look like
The site was home to Adnitt Brothers before Debenhams