Hotel and apartments form part of new ‘masterplan’ for stalled Four Waterside scheme

An ‘exciting’ new masterplan has been drawn up for the delayed project at Four Waterside in Northampton town centre – including a hotel, office space and new apartments.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 7:22 am
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 7:24 am
An artist's impression of the updated Four Waterside scheme. Picture from feasibility study by Faulkner Brown Architects

A scheme at the site, which runs adjacent to the River Nene and St Peter’s Way behind the University of Northampton’s innovation centre, has been in the pipelines since 2014.

Originally offering an office development, delays to the project – which had been intended to open in 2017 – have meant that a new masterplan has been put together. It now includes a new four-storey hotel, retains 15,000 square feet of office development, and adds some new one and two-bedroom apartments by the riverside.

The new masterplan was endorsed by the borough council’s cabinet on Wednesday evening (February 5) during a meeting at The Guildhall.

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How some of the apartments would look alongside the River Nene. Picture from feasibility study by Faulkner Brown Architects

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) had entered into a contract with Kier to develop the site in 2014, which was then passed onto the borough council following the demise of WNDC. But discussions between the two parties stalled over the years as they could not agree on a plan to bring the site forward, and the council terminated the agreement with Kier in April 2019. The council is now bringing forward the plans for the site, which it owns in its entirety.

A report from the council states: “There has and continues to be high level commercial interest in the Four Waterside site. The council is aware of an office operator that is willing to invest, once an office development is brought forward. Equally a number of hotel operators have shown interest in the Four Waterside Site but have failed to invest due to the marginal nature of the finances.”

Following the masterplan being approved, a full development appraisal for the site will be completed to ‘understand the level of public sector intervention required’, and a strategy for how to fund the scheme will be developed.

Council leader Jonathan Nunn said: “This is very exciting. West Northants Development Company and Kier could not come up with anything so it has come back to us. It’s very exciting to see something come forward, and there’s some really ambitious and inspiring images from the architects.”

The site neighbours the University's innovation centre, which is opposite the train station. Picture from feasibility study by Faulkner Brown Architects
A visual of how the site would be transformed. Picture from feasibility study by Faulkner Brown Architects
Plans detail the kinds of development that could go on the site. Picture from feasibility study by Faulkner Brown Architects
A further drawing of the proposed residential apartments on site. Picture from feasibility study by Faulkner Brown Architects