Demolition of chapel at listed building site in Kettering looks set to be approved

The former gatehouse, convent and school on Hall Lane, Kettering, now lies derelict.
The former gatehouse, convent and school on Hall Lane, Kettering, now lies derelict.

Plans which would see the demolition of a chapel and the construction of dozens of new homes at the site of two listed buildings in Kettering look set to be approved at a meeting on Tuesday (April 7).

Kettering Council’s planning committee will be debating the application, submitted by WR (NI) Property Realisations Limited concerning the Convent of Our Lady in Hall Lane.

The firm wants to convert two cottages at the site, Bryn Hafod and Middlewest, into homes and apartments, while also building more than 50 new homes.

Bryn Hafod was the former home of Charles Wicksteed and was designed by the architect John Gotch. Middlewest may have been designed by Gotch but this is not known for certain.

Bryn Hafod became the Convent of Our Lady in 1936, five years after Wicksteed died. Middlewest was used as a school, set up by the Ursaline Sisters and then taken on by the Sisters of Our Lady in the mid-1950s. The school eventually closed in 2003.

The scheme would see the demolition of a chapel at the Grade II-listed site.

While the chapel itself is not listed, the adjacent buildings are.

Planning officers at the council have recommended that the plans be approved. English Heritage and the Ancient Monuments Society were consulted and had no objection to the removal of the chapel.

A scheme to redevelop the site was given approval in 2008 but that planning permission lapsed.

The planning meeting takes place at the Kettering Council offices in Bowling Green Road from 7pm.