Ambitious plans have been submitted to turn a once troubled flat block, known for fires and anti-social behaviour, into 40 new family homes to meet the need for social housing.
After tenants moved out of Overslade House, in East Hunsbury, back in September, bosses at Northampton Partnership Homes have submitted plans to the Guildhall to transform the anti-social behaviour hot spot into an area for family accommodation.
The face lift will involve structural alterations to the existing building, which will include building new fourth floor accommodation, creating ground floor level apartments for accessible accommodation and creating additional parking, including six accessible parking spaces by the entrance.
As well as this, if plans are given the green light, the former troubled building will also receive a new children’s play area, landscaped gardens - including raised beds and drying areas - and residents living on the top floor will all have outside balconies.
Back in 2015 the Chronicle and Echo reported how some residents of Overslade House in East Hunsbury were afraid to leave their apartments because of the anti-social behaviour of a group of residents. Their complaints included reports of motorbikes being driven around the forecourt in the early hours, fires and verbal abuse.
In 2017, people living in Overslade House were moved out en masse after a small group of yobs damaged all of the fire safety equipment there. Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) moved the tenants of all 66 flats to temporary accommodation, after the fire safety installations were "maliciously damaged".
Since then, surveyors established the extent of works that were needed to make the building safe and to modernise the flats and communal areas.
Dave Pickard, NPH’s executive director of operations said of the plans: “When we realised that most Overslade House residents preferred the homes we temporarily moved them to, we took the opportunity to think a bit differently about how we could develop a place where people are proud to live, feel safe and are part of a community.
“There is a real shortage of family housing in Northampton and we have come up with a really modern scheme that includes private balconies or terraces for each apartment as well as communal outdoor space for children to play and families to come together.
"The location is ideal for families, with shops, schools and other services nearby with great public transport links.”