170-home scheme for old student block scrapped

Plans to convert a former student accommodation block into 170 affordable homes have been scrapped due to concerns over its feasibility.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) had initially approved proposals for the vacant Bassett Lowke building, which it owns, back in 2021.

However, the council has now decided to sell the block instead of including it in its social housing initiative.

The change in plans follows advice from Northamptonshire Partnership Homes, which manages WNC’s housing services. They cited shifts in the construction sector and housing market as reasons for the project’s lack of viability.

The Bassett Lowke building, located at the former Avenue Campus of the University of Northampton, became available after the university moved to its new Waterside Campus in 2018. The closure of Avenue Campus and Park Campus in Kingsthorpe prompted discussions about the redevelopment of the area.

The council said that removing the old student block from their plans was crucial to ensuring the feasibility of other proposals for the former campus site.

Initially, the plan was to refurbish the Bassett Lowke building, with demolition planned for the other parts of the campus on St George’s Avenue to make way for new housing.

The council has received cabinet approval to sell the 248-bed student block and has already received an offer for it, along with the adjacent Quinton building.

A strategy for the remaining site will be presented to the cabinet later this year.

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