Five-storey flats plan for Corby’s historic ‘Stevie Way’

How the flats would look from Stephenson way, driving towards Rockingham Road. NNL-190315-150017005
How the flats would look from Stephenson way, driving towards Rockingham Road. NNL-190315-150017005

Several houses could be bulldozed to make way for three blocks of ‘micro flats’ in Stephenson Way.

The proposed flats are each the size of just two-and-a-half car parking spaces - or 37 square metres - which is the minimum government standard for a flat for one person.

The houses that will be bulldozed to make way for the flats. NNL-190315-163333005

The houses that will be bulldozed to make way for the flats. NNL-190315-163333005

But in planning documents, the applicant says that the flats are designed for two people, which the government says should have a minimum square footage of 50 square metres.

Stephenson Way was only the second street to be built as part of New Corby in 1934.

The plan, by Glasgow-based AP Properties Consortium, states that numbers 2-12 will be bulldozed to make way for the scheme that would also occupy redundant land at the rear of the houses all the way to the railway line boundary.

There will be 64 car parking spaces in the middle of the three buildings.

How the Stephenson Way flats might look NNL-190315-145957005

How the Stephenson Way flats might look NNL-190315-145957005

The outline application that has been lodged with Corby Council planners states: “The development is proposed on a run down existing large residential plot comprising numbers two to 12 Stephenson Way, their extended gardens and back land adjacent to the main line railway cutting.

“The existing dwellings are in a poor state of repair, which detracts from the residential amenity locally and whilst not large, the existing dwellings sit in substantial plots.”

The application goes on, “‘Micro Homes’ are a relatively new introduction to the UK market. Popular in London where land values are so high it can be nearly impossible for young people to gain a foothold on the property ladder. The proposals here are for ‘affordable’ properties which provide for the needs of individuals and couples in comfortable, modern, energy efficient dwellings which are accessible to the average wage earner and adjacent to good local amenities.”

One of the blocks would be of four storeys and the other two would be five floors.

The micro apartments at Stephenson Way are just 37 sq m NNL-190315-150007005

The micro apartments at Stephenson Way are just 37 sq m NNL-190315-150007005

The applicant has already taken part in preliminary talks with council planners who said that, in principle, they did not oppose the development of the site.

But the full application is likely to have to go before the council’s development control committee before it is passed.

You can view the application and comment on it here

The history of Stephenson Way

The Stephenson Way site from above NNL-190315-145937005

The Stephenson Way site from above NNL-190315-145937005

- During the winter of 1933, hundreds of men working at the new Corby works had nowhere to sleep so bedded down in the hedgerows of Stanion Lane.

- Steelworkers had told bosses that they would prefer to be housed as close to the works as possible, despite the fact this meant that Stephenson Way would be in the prevailing winds polluted by the works.

- Stephenson Way was only the second street to be built in New Corby for steelworkers, just a few months after Bessemer Grove was completed.

- Building by Stewarts and Lloyds was completed in 1934 - it cost £306,405 using a 90 per cent loan from the Halifax Building Society.

- Rents were fixed at eight, nine and ten shillings per week, not including rates.

- No sooner were they finished than it was realised that more homes would be needed.

Stephenson Way in 1951, with the the steelworks in the background NNL-190315-145947005

Stephenson Way in 1951, with the the steelworks in the background NNL-190315-145947005

- On May 10, 1941 the street was the target of a German bomber trying to escape a British fighter plane by dropping bombs to lighten its load. There were no serious injuries, but Mrs McConnell was ‘blown out of bed.’

- The street is named after George Stephenson, an English civil engineer considered to be the ‘father of the railways.’ Other surrounding streets are named after renowned engineers whose inventions all played a part in improving steelmaking - Scottish mechanical engineer James Watt, Sir Joseph Whitworth who created a standard for screw threads, and Scotland’s Thomas Telford, the godfather of civil engineering.