University of Northampton signs deal to move to town centre campus

The site of three new bridges between Nunn Mills Road and Ransome Road.
The site of three new bridges between Nunn Mills Road and Ransome Road.

The university has signed an agreement to build a new campus in Northampton town centre, it has been confirmed.

A deal was signed between the university, landowners Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon and the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation today to build the new facility on the derelict site of the town’s former power station in Nunn Mills Road, close to Avon’s headquarters in Bedford Road.

The university will give the landowners 20 to 30 acres of land from their Park campus site in Boughton Green Road, Northampton in return for the development.

Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon plan to build a residential development on the Park campus land.

Professor Petford, vice chancellor of the University of Northampton said today that the building work would “take a number of years” and the expected date for completion for the new university campus was 2018.

WNDC, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon have agreed the university development is the priority for the land, but should the university be unable to meet their obligations in a specified time period, the landowners will have the opportunity to bring forward their plans for the site, of a mixed-use regeneration development.

However, the parties have agreed that if those plans cannot be delivered in time then the WNDC will take control of the land and directly secure its redevelopment.

The university has three years to get planning permission for the new campus at Nunn Mills and for the residential development at Park campus.

If it is successful then the university has another year to fulfill its funding obligations.

However if the university fails then Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon can progress with their alterative mixed-use propsals for the site, but if they fail then the land automatically goes to WNDC.

The WNDC has also put forward a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for land in unknown ownership to enable a link road between Bedford Road and Ransome Road in between Avon and the new university campus.

The planning inspector, Ava Wood, will write to the Secretary of State about the proposed CPO and a decision is expected next Spring.