The development comprises a purpose-built student accommodation and new retail unit in the centre of Northampton and addresses one of the main shopping streets – The Drapery.
The site is currently occupied by a large Debenhams Department Store. The existing building is a purpose build retail store arranged over basement, ground and three upper floors with principal access from Drapery. Servicing is via an enclosed service yard accessed from College Street to the rear of the building.
The proposed scheme will provide 201 student studios and associated amenity spaces whilst retaining some retail space onto The Drapery. The scheme will also improve the existing connection between The Drapery and College Street with a new south-facing courtyard formed in the centre of the site accessed from Swan Yard Lane. Social and amenity spaces will also be on Swan Yard Lane bringing life and activity to this historic pedestrian route.
The form of the existing building has been used to establish the general scale and massing for the proposals. The principal move is to create a new central courtyard within the centre of the urban block. This courtyard will provide light and outlook to the residential accommodation and generate a social heart to the development and engender a sense of community.