Neighbours label plans for 'modern' apartment block in Northampton town centre an 'over-towering eyesore'.

The design for a new apartment block on the corner of Castillian Street has attracted a series of complaints.
The design for a new apartment block on the corner of Castillian Street has attracted a series of complaints.

A plan to build 95 modern apartments in Northampton town centre has come up against a volley of complaints.

Boughton man David Corley and Rickett Architects want to clear a parcel of brownfield land on the corner of Castilian Street and Derngate Road, to make way for the 'imaginative development' of high-density housing.

Developers say there are a number of buildings in the vicinity of equal or greater height.

Developers say there are a number of buildings in the vicinity of equal or greater height.

But some 28 neighbours have complained that the modern design of the development is out-of-keeping with the 19th-century townhouses along Castilian Street.

Resident Nicky Scaife said: "It's clear that the unimaginative and austere design, plus the use of materials, are out of keeping with the rest of Derngate and the east of Castilian Street."

An anonymous commenter added: "It will be part of the Cultural Quarter of Northampton and if the plans are anything to go by, an over-towering eyesore."

"At the proposed height it will block out not only our view of the distant trees and landscape but almost all sunlight."

The writer signed the comment off by saying "yours, in near despair."

David Trubshaw, senior planning officer for conservation at Northampton Borough Council, has also considered the bulk and scale of the proposed development would be "dominant and intrusive."

A design and access statement submitted by Rickett Architects defends the scheme by saying that it would be one of a number of tall buildings in the Derngate conservation area.

"There are no buildings of great antiquity in the Conservation Area," it adds.

"Much of the architectural attraction of this area stems from the wealth of early to mid-nineteenth-century terraces, formerly the homes of Northampton’s trades and professional families, but now being too large for present domestic purposes, mainly given over to office use."

It also says the Conservation area is made up of a 'variety of styles'.

But Historic England has also lodged an objection to the scheme, which it described as 'harmful' to the surrounding area.

The apartment block and studios would be built in a V-shaped building, with two existing buildings knocked down to make way for the development. The majority of the site, opposite the Bang and Olufsen store, is currently a surface car park.

The conservation body says amendments must be made to the scheme before it is passed.