Outrage as plans unveiled to convert prominent listed building in Northampton into 20-bed HMO

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"This is overdevelopment and inappropriate,” says councillor

Plans to convert a prominent listed building in the heart of Northampton town centre into a 20-bed HMO have been criticised as “inappropriate and over development”.

Proposals have been submitted to West Northamptonshire Council to convert the vacant Grade II listed Beethoven House in Market Square.

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According to planning papers, the three-storey building has stood empty for 10 years and was previously used as office space.

Beethoven House (right), in Market Square, could be converted into a 20-bed HMOBeethoven House (right), in Market Square, could be converted into a 20-bed HMO
Beethoven House (right), in Market Square, could be converted into a 20-bed HMO

Planning papers say: “The building has now been vacant for 10 years which is of detriment to the All Saints Conservation area.

"The proposed change of use of Beethoven House to a HMO will bring back into use a building, that will then provide a positive long-term contribution to the Conservation Area and ensure the long term future of Beethoven House as one of Northampton’s oldest Listed buildings.

"The conversion will provide a very high standard of accommodation.”

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The applicant, Alex Putjatins, has experience in converting listed properties in Northampton into HMOs.

Planning papers say: “Mr Putjatins has a lot of experience working on listed buildings. Only recently, Mr Putjatins acquired number six and no 11 Cheyne Walk, both Grade II listed buildings, and converted them both from offices into large HMO properties for nine and 14 occupants.

“Obviously, with the high standard of accommodation provided by Mr Putjatins, it is rare for occupants to leave, removing the usual transient nature usually associated with HMO properties.

“Mr Putjatins considers that Beethoven House would be an ideal building suitable to convert and refurbish to the same high standard of HMO as he has recently carried out.”

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Labour councillor Danielle Stone (Castle ward) has objected to the plans.

The councillor said: “I strongly object to this.

"This is overdevelopment and inappropriate for a prestigious regeneration location. It does not contribute to our vision for the town where children and families can thrive.

"We need development in the town centre that contributes to local amenity, provides stability and builds community. HMOs do the opposite and should not be allowed in this location. There is already overdevelopment and an imbalance of residential provision aimed at single people.

"It will generate yet more transience where we need stability, sustainability, a family friendly environment and community cohesion.”

Click here to view the plans.