Housing plan for former Kettering chapel and convent

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
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Proposals to bulldoze a chapel and convert a decaying former convent into new houses have been submitted.

The plans, for the Convent of Our Lady in Hall Lane, Kettering, also includes the building of dozens of new homes.

Two existing grade II-listed properties on the site – one of which, Bryn Hafod, was the home of Charles Wicksteed – have been proposed to be converted into 10 new homes, while their associated cottages are also set for redevelopment.

A total of 56 other new homes are also earmarked for the site, just off Northampton Road – and close to where more than 200 properties are being built at the Westhill development.

More than 80 members of the public went to a meeting earlier this year to be shown some of the outlined proposals for the site, with increased traffic along Northampton Road the main concern raised.

However, a planning engineer report has said the application proposals accord with national and local planning policies concerning the impact on transport in the area.

Built at the end of the 1890s, Wicksteed’s home of Bryn Hafod was designed by another famous Kettering name, architect John Alfred Gotch.

The other house, Middlewest, built some years later, has also been judged to have Gotch influences.

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 sisters also built a chapel in the grounds in 1963.

Kettering Council approved an application to renovate the site in 2008, but that permission lapsed three years later without the work having been carried out.

Consultations on the plans are being sent out to neighbours this week. A provisional target date for a decision to be made on the application to build the new homes as been set for January 8.