Fresh plan to turn historic Northampton town centre building into flats recommended for approval

Hair salon would remain on ground floor as part of proposal on the Drapery

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 1:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 1:54 pm

A fresh application to ensure a Northampton town centre hair salon adheres to planning laws and to build flats above has been recommended for approval.

Zone Beauty Studio on the Drapery was facing uncertainty as its unit was designated for retail rather than a hairdressers so plans have been submitted to change it.

The developer also wants to demolish part of the building next to Jeyes Jetty as part of the conversion of the first, second and third floors into 14 apartments.

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Zone Beauty Studio on the Drapery, Northampton

A near-identical application was approved in December 2019, but for a retail unit instead of 'sui generis' so its premise has already been accepted by the planning authority.

A West Northamptonshire Council officer has recommended the Northampton area planning committee to approve the application at its meeting on Tuesday (November 2).

The officer's report says: "The proposed development represents an acceptable land use and would not have a significant adverse impact upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area, neighbour amenity, the highway system, or crime and safety.

"Whilst there would be some harm to the historic environment, this would not be significant and would be outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme."

After 10 years on the downstairs floor of Market Walk Shopping Centre, Zone Beauty Studio relocated last year to the former Intersport DW Sports store, which had been empty since 2017.

But owner Atif Kiran told the Chronicle & Echo in October 2020 he had been told by the old borough council that the salon went against the official use of the site and it needed to be rectified.