Former Grade II listed leatherworks building in Northampton set to be converted into flats

Outside the gates of the Pearce Leatherworks front entrance. Archive photo.
Outside the gates of the Pearce Leatherworks front entrance. Archive photo.

A building forming part of a disused leather works factory on Wellingborough Road is set to be converted into flats, after planning officers recommended the scheme be approved.

The application, from Clayson Country Homes Ltd, proposes to alter and extend the offices of the former Pearce Leatherworks factory into the flats, which would also include three live-work offices.

The Grade II listed building has stood empty since 2002 and has become the target of vandalism.

The application will be determined next Tuesday (January 21) by members of Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee.

The borough council’s own conservation officer states the proposal ‘will not harm the surviving character of Pearce’s Leatherworks and will help to secure a viable use for an important listed building that is deteriorating’.

The art deco-styled office was used for over 60 years and the original factory that stood behind it was demolished for housing in 2010, with 126 homes being built by Clayson, which is now turning its attention to the remaining building.

This latest application is largely similar to a previous scheme that was already granted planning permission in 2017, though that was for 14 flats rather than the newly proposed 20.

The 20 flats would be comprised of six one-bedroom flats; 13 two-bedroom flats and a single three-bedroom flat.

Planning officers conclude: “The proposal would bring about the development of a disused Grade II listed building in an area surrounded by residential development in a sustainable location, the renovation of which would make an overall positive contribution to the environmental character of the area.

“It is acknowledged that the proposed alterations may cause harm to the historic integrity of the listed building but it is considered that this is outweighed by the public benefits identified above and the positive contribution that the residential development of the site would make towards meeting housing need in the area.”