"No more flaming flats! There will be no town centre soon!": Here's what YOU said about flats being built in Northampton

There has been an influx of planning applications to the Guildhall to build flats in the town recently

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 11:33 am

With around 20 to 30 major planning applications to build flats in the town, this newspaper has rounded up some of the Chron readers' reactions.

The comments used were taken from the Chron's Facebook posts.

Plans to build 19 flats at the former Top of the Town nightclub in the Mounts

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From left to right: Debenhams, G T Hawkins, Belgrave House, former Moon on the Square
From left to right: Debenhams, G T Hawkins, Belgrave House, former Moon on the Square

Anna Thorpe was diplomatic in her response. She said: "If there wasn't a demand for flats they wouldn't be building them. There is and they are.

"If there was a demand for shop spaces, they would be building those - the number of empty shops shows that there isn't the appropriate level of demand for that.

"I'd much rather see buildings being used as homes then sitting empty and becoming derelict."

Sheron Watson raised her parking concerns with the plans. She said: "Seven two-bed and 12 one-bed flats and only 15 car parking spaces created for residents. Will they ever learn!"

Romany pub conversion

The Kingsley Road pub will be converted into eight one-bed flats and two studio flats. The existing garage on the site will also be turned into a studio flat.

Sean James questioned the town's leadership. He said: "More flats.... for what? [There's] nothing in the area. There is no direction for this town from leadership."

Siâny Kay was more nostalgic with her response to the news. She said: "Was a brilliant community pub, had many happy nights with friends and family there. Such a shame."

Belgrave House

The plan to transform the empty office block in Northampton town centre into 122 affordable apartments has been approved.

Phil Manktelow was delighted. He said: "Good! Better to chip away at the housing crisis than have an empty building just sitting there!"

Stephen Smith was less impressed. He said: "I bet none of these will be social housing."

Emma-Jane Hartley was more tongue-in-cheek with her response. She said: "Boy, am I glad I was sitting down for that revelation! Building flats in our town centre? What a shocker!"

Energie Fitness

Plans have been unveiled to convert the disused women's gym in Northampton's Abington Street into a block of 12 flats.

Jackie Cameron listed the reasons why this is a bad idea. She said: "How is this good for our town? [The] town centre is an absolute disgrace; more flats more people; more traffic; more fights and anti social behaviour; who the hell is passing these, what committee? As I would love to be on it. They have crucified Northampton."

Jenny Reeves was more diplomatic in her response. She said: "Unfortunately town centres are slowly dying due to people driving to ‘out of town’ shopping and council tax/rents for small businesses to start up to high.

"Town centres do need something else to encourage more use so if anyone has any positive, workable and good ideas suggest them to the council."

Tony Brooks

The car dealership in Court Road, which has been open since 1983, is currently the subject of a planning application for a six-storey building of 52 flats.

Phil Ashby joked about a comment in the planning documents. He said: "'Built to take advantage of the views of the highway' - who hasn't queued in the traffic around St. Peter's Way and wistfully wished they could look out of their living room window and savour the majestic scene unfolding before them?"

Dan Graley raised his concerns with parking. He said: "So a minimum of 73 tenants and...20 parking spaces?"

St Giles Street

Plans have been unveiled to turn office space in St Giles' Street into a block of 14 'much-needed' flats.

Stuart Lee said: "Yet more flats? No shops or businesses? just more and more people crammed into small spaces at great profit."

Elaine Stimpson said: "And the council can’t understand why people are willing to travel 10/20 miles to visit Rushden Lakes or MK."

G T Hawkins factory

The iconic former shoe factory in Overstone Road has been the subject of planning permission to build 39 flats at the site.

Gemma Thomason Williams said: "I always wondered why they hadn't done anything to this building, I'm so glad they are restoring it. The only problem is surely its going to make the parking round there even busier!"

Lisa Foskett offered a different idea to flats. She said: "An indoor market of artisan shops would’ve been an idea. There’s nothing to draw people into Northampton. As a kid, I remember it was the place to shop before MK centre was built. We’d travel by train to get here for the day."

Tony Bannard said: "This historic shoe factory needs saving, so if it is converted into flats so be it ."

Most Marvellous Emporium

Plans to turn the former quirky clothing retailer into a block of student flats have been given the green light.

David Brown said: "Is there anywhere empty that isn't being planned to be turned into flats? Every time some building becomes vacant they're being turned into flats. Where exactly do they plan on parking all the vehicles that belong to the people in these flats?"

Emma-Jane Hartley said: "Why not just bulldoze the whole town centre and create accommodation for temporary students? Who cares about reviving the town centre for the town's residents - not even with a focus on shops, but a hub for meeting, eating out and entertainment. The lack of foresight in this town has always amazed me!"

Former Moon on the Square

Plans have been approved to turn the former popular pub in Market Square into a bingo hall and 13 flats.

Tonia Martin said: "We already have a decent bingo hall with parking and in a good area."

Catbear Evans said: "More people in town means more people shopping in town. More foot traffic makes it more enticing to big business. The reduction in stores has been down to reduction in people shopping in the High Street. Why is everyone so negative all the time? What ever happens, happens, just get on with it."

Sally Westley said: "Encourage shops lower rent. No more flaming flats! There will be no town centre soon!"

St James

Plans to turn an office block on the Harlestone Road into 14 flats have been given the green light.

Joanne Robinson said: "What is this obsession of having more and more places of residence in Northampton? Where are the plans for amenities? Decent shops, more doctors surgeries, schools, hospitals. And planning homes with no parking is crazy."


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

Sally Westley said: "It’s all very well turning every flaming building into flats and affordable housing (which it’s not), but where are the extra schools, doctors, dentist etc that is needed fir all this extra housing?!"

Pearce Leatherworks

Fresh plans have been submitted to convert the derelict listed leather works building in Wellingborough Road into 26 flats.

Megan King said: "Great, an art deco listed building into more flats. This council are so creative."

West Northamptonshire Council has been contacted for comment but has not responded.