02 July 2015

New life will be breathed into an area of derelict land in a historic part of Northampton town centre through Northamptonshire County Council plans to regenerate the site.

The project will concentrate on the area in the Heritage Gateway previously occupied by the 1970s structure Castle House in Marefair, which had been vacant for many years before its demolition last Autumn.

Opposite St Peter’s Church and close to the location where Northampton Castle once stood, the site is a key component in the town’s urban landscape.

What will go on the site?

As such, the focus for the design brief will be for the provision of up to 30 homes which will need to reflect the historic setting and incorporate high quality materials typical of the county. It is expected that the project will act as a catalyst for further quality new design in the area.

The dwellings will also have to be energy efficient and include the latest technologies with regard to environmental sustainability and next-generation living.

The county council has invited a number of architects, local, national and international to submit ideas and quotes for the project. These will then be put before public scrutiny before they are finally considered by an evaluation panel.

Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Cllr Jim Harker, said: “We’ve seen more positive change taking place in Northampton in the past few years than we’ve seen in a generation but there’s much more to be done.

“Historically this section of Northampton is a very important part of the town centre so it’s important that any new development respects the county’s heritage.

“However we also need to keep an eye on the future so it’s important that the new buildings are fit for modern living and have sustainability in mind.

“This development will demonstrate that next-generation designs and technologies can exist within and complement the traditional. It will also act as a benchmark for subsequent development within the area.”

What is the Heritage Gateway?

Over the past year, the county council, together with partners, including Northampton Alive, has been developing the Northampton Heritage Gateway.

The Gateway recognises the historical significance of Northampton and its role in important national and international events as well as connecting with the regeneration projects underway across the town.

Phase one of the Heritage Gateway focussed on the new railway station: telling the story of Northampton Castle and the town’s rich history.

The county council is now looking to push the idea out across the county to create a county-wide Heritage Gateway for residents and visitors, celebrating the rich history that the county has to offer.