Planning permission granted for new car dealership on site of former Northampton Suzuki centre

The applicant has been granted temporary permission for two years for a mobile office and toilets

Friday, 12th March 2021, 4:12 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 4:18 pm
Planning permission has been granted for the site in Semilong.
Planning permission has been granted for the site in Semilong.

A new car showroom has been granted planning permission on the site of the former Northampton Suzuki centre.

The site in Burleigh Road, Semilong behind 'Garden Machines', has been vacant - other than for use as vehicle storage - for a number of years after the previous car business departed and has been described as an 'eyesore'.

Planning permission was originally submitted in February last year to include a car wash as well as a car sales facility.

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However, new plans were submitted towards the end of 2020 not including the car wash facility, after a number of objections were made.

In the absence of the car wash, plans for just the car dealership were approved by Northampton Borough Council on March 1.

The applicant also detailed portable accomodation for an office and toilets, which led the council to grant permission on a two-year temporary basis to ‘allow time for a permanent solution including buildings of a better design to be reached’.

In approval documents, Northampton Borough Council states: “The development, subject to conditions, would not have an undue impact upon the character of the area, on residential amenity or existing highway conditions.

“The planning history indicates that the site has been occupied some time ago as a car sales showroom and with a subsequent temporary consent for use for vehicle storage.

“In view of the previous history, the principle of commercial uses such as car sales on a temporary basis is considered acceptable.

“The proposed use for car sales only would not allow for vehicle repairs and valeting to take place on the site and as such, the additional disturbance and effects of these would not arise.

“The site has an expired consent for a care facility which has never been built. Prior to this a car showroom was present on the site.

“The applicant proposes to erect two portacabin structures, one would be ‘portaloo’ structure close to the boundary with Burleigh Road.

“The use of portacabins would be acceptable on a temporary basis of two years allowing time for a permanent solution including buildings of a better design to be reached.

“Although it is noted that there would be an increase in visitors to the site over and above what currently exists, this is not considered to be unduly harmful to neighbouring amenity.”

The documents also state that the permitted use and associated buildings will be removed and land restored to former condition on or before March 1, 2023, ‘in the interests of visual and residential amenity.’

Opening hours of 8am - 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am - 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays for the business have been agreed.

A number of objections about the car showroom-only application were also received from residents and ward councillors about light pollution and the issue of where customers will park.

Visit the council’s website to view all the planning documents associated with this application.

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