Agenda item

Hybrid application for up to 170 new dwellings in total including outline application for the demolition and conversion of existing University buildings and the erection of new buildings to provide residential accommodation (Use Class C3) of up to 112 units and associated car parking (including reconfiguration of Newton Building car park), landscaping and open space (all matters reserved except access) and full application for the part demolition, conversion and extension of the Maidwell Building to provide 58 new dwellings together with access and parking
University of Northampton Avenue Campus, St Georges Avenue


The Principal Planning Officer submitted a report to the Committee Members and attention was also drawn to the addendum which contained an additional condition. The Committee were informed that the application had been amended since its submission to reduce the maximum number of dwellings from 200 to 170 and has also been subject to extensive discussions with consultees. It comprises a hybrid proposal, with full planning permission sought for the part-demolition, conversion and reconfiguration of the Maidwell Building to provide 58 dwellings and associated parking, and outline planning permission for the construction of up to 112 dwellings to the rear of the site and alterations to the Newton Building car park, with the listed Newton Building falling outside the site.  The site is located in the Kingsley Conservation, with the Maidwell Building on the frontage being locally listed, and it was explained that the works to this building result in harm to heritage assets that needs to be weighed against the benefits arising from the scheme, which include the redevelopment of brownfield land and a significant contribution towards the Council’s housing supply.  It was highlighted that the indicative plans showed the bulk of the existing treed areas on the site retained, but that the final layout of the rear part of the site would be assessed as part of a future reserved matters application.  In addition, it was highlighted that an independent viability assessment had concluded that the scheme could not afford to provide any affordable housing, but could make some contributions towards education and healthcare facilities as well as off-site highway improvements to seek to mitigate the impacts of the development.


Catherine Mason, the agent on behalf of the applicant, spoke in favour of the application and commented that the proposal was sustainable development and a good use of a brownfield site which had been carefully designed and of high quality. She advised that the site is allocated for dwellings in the emerging Local Plan Part 2.  The most significant elements of the Maidwell Building would be retained with new high quality apartments created and existing green areas within the site would be protected with new play spaces. Any impacts arising from the scheme have been satisfactorily mitigated against.  The scheme had been amended to ensure that it complied with the Council’s standards and ecology, archaeology, drainage and transport issues have been resolved.  The University is an important stakeholder in the town and the redevelopment of Avenue Campus is linked to the development of the new Waterside Campus and the financing of the University. 


In response to questions, the Committee heard that a condition is proposed to ensure the recordeding of the Maidwell Building to prior to its partial demolition. 


Members discussed the report.




That the application be APPROVED IN PRINCIPLE subject to the prior finalisation of a S106 agreement to secure planning obligations and conditions and reasons as set out in the report and Additional Condition 35 contained in the addendum.


Councillors Cali, Choudary and Lane joined the meeting at this juncture.

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