The fine traditional architecture of Northampton will be celebrated as new life is breathed back into a derelict town centre plot as part of Northamptonshire County Council’s Heritage Gateway initiative.
The former Castle House site in Marefair - opposite St Peter’s Church and close to the location where Northampton Castle once stood - is a key component in the town’s urban landscape.
The development of the site forms part of a wider masterplan for the area, which also includes a heritage park, community play areas and the redevelopment of castle mound.
The new development of quality town housing on the Castle House site will use heritage materials, while at the same time be designed for contemporary living. The design has been done in such a way so that the castle mound can still be viewed from St Peter’s Church.
Drawn up by renowned architects Quinlan and Francis Terry, the plans have been influenced by the historic architecture of Northampton town centre.
Heritage design and materials typical of the county will be used along with traditional techniques in the construction but the buildings will also measure up to the latest environmental standards.
As a regeneration project it will enhance the approach to the town centre from the freshly redeveloped Northampton Station and, as part of the county-wide Heritage Gateway initiative, could act as a catalyst for further quality design schemes in the county.
County council leader, Cllr Heather Smith, said: “Northampton town centre has some marvellous old buildings and I’m delighted that this new design borrows from much of this fine architectural heritage and yet incorporates the latest technology to compliment contemporary living.
“What we were looking for was a development that fitted in with the urban heritage of the historic town centre and also created a fitting introduction to the town for people arriving at the railway station.
“Northampton and the wider county have a wonderful history and it’s important that this is recognised and considered as Northamptonshire continues to grow.”
Francis Terry, architect, said: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be working on the Castle House site. Northampton is a fine historic town which still has its traditional urban structure in place.
“I see my role as piecing together the street pattern in a way that is sympathetic to the unique character of the town as well as satisfying contemporary requirements of function and sustainability.”
The scheme will include a number of town houses, apartments, a café and a shop with potential for community facilities.
The proposals are scheduled to go before the county council’s cabinet committee next week before a planning application is finalised and submitted.