Overwhelmed health services and heritage issues raised as objections to proposed six-storey block of flats in Northampton

Historic England says the proposal could impact ‘non-designated archaeological remains’

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 8:17 am

A planning application to build a six-storey block of flats on the site of a Northampton town centre car showroom has received several objections.

Earlier this year, Catherfield Developments submitted a planning application to West Northamptonshire Council (then Northampton Borough Council) to build 52 one and two-bed flats on the site of Tony Brooks showroom in Court Road off the roundabout that connects St Peter’s Way and Horseshoe Street.

If the application is approved, the popular car showroom would relocate to another prominent location, according to the owner.

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What the proposed flats could look like.

However, the application has now received several objections from organisations and neighbours, mainly relating to the area’s historic significance and character.

A spokesperson for Friends of Northampton Castle wrote: “The buildings would be an obstruction to views from the town centre and likewise from the new enterprise zone on St Peter’s Way.

“This rapid development does not allow for a strategic look at how the character of this outer town centre area will change and impact on plans to enhance the historic environment of the town centre.

“Friends of Northampton Castle would… strongly advocate a pause and reconsideration, providing a holistic view of what would be acceptable.”

Further to the group’s submission, Historic England has also objected to the application claiming there is ‘insufficient information’ about the impact of the proposal.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Historic England is concerned regarding the harm the proposed six storey building, containing 52 residential apartments, may have on the significance the adjacent scheduled monument and highly graded heritage assets nearby derive from their settings.

“Insufficient information has been provided to understand the impact of the proposal, which has high potential to directly impact upon non-designated archaeological remains of equivalent importance to the scheduled monument.

“Notwithstanding this lack of information, the application does not appear to comply with the adopted and emerging development plans.

“Historic England objects to the application on heritage grounds.”

In addition to the historical impact concerns, the Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made submissions about how healthcare services could be overwhelmed by the influx of residents.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The CCG can confirm there will not be sufficient capacity in the local primary healthcare system to absorb the anticipated increase in demand created by the proposed new housing development.

“Practices in the local area are already at the limit of their capacity and the increase in population could push practices to the point that they are no longer able to accept new patients.

“If this were to be the case it could result in the population brought to the area by the new housing development experiencing difficulties accessing primary care health services. “Therefore the CCG and NHSE (NHS England) & I are seeking a financial contribution towards

infrastructure support to ensure the new population has access to good quality primary health care services.”

The CCG is requesting £26,437.04 to help with healthcare infrastructures if the application is to be granted permission.

A decision on the application has not yet been made, however the deadline to comment on the application has passed.