Corby Co-op site sold to local landowner for £2m – and demolition looms for eyesore building

The site in Alexandra Road has been disused for six years

The Corby Co-op building has become an eyesore in recent years
The Corby Co-op building has become an eyesore in recent years

The former Co-op building in Corby town centre is to be demolished to make way for housing after it was purchased by a big local firm.

The Northants Telegraph can reveal that MPB Structures paid £1.92m for the site in February – just three years after Co-op sold it for nearly half the price to a firm owned by one of Britain’s richest men.

The firm says the site will now be regenerated and local people will be consulted before plans are submitted.

The Co-op site has had a tumultuous few years since the once-popular store closed in 2016 because of decreasing footfall.

Members of the town’s homeless community soon took up residence at the sheltered rear of the building. Then hundreds of people had illegal parking tickets handed out by Smart Parking overturned after the Northants Telegraph intervened. One was even given a ticket for driving through the car park without stopping. After further issues with parking earlier this year, concrete blocks were placed at the entrance to the car park, stopping traffic from using it.

In 2019 Co-op offloaded the site for £1.02m to Street Anchor Evolve, an investment firm part-owned by Caspar McDonald-Hall who is one of Britain’s richest men. The 0.8 hectare site was earmarked for housing in Corby Council’s local plan and the firm soon mooted plans for a large-scale housing scheme on the site, including Corby’s first ten-storey building.

But after fierce objections from the local community, the scheme was kicked into touch by the council’s planning committee last summer.

Street Anchor Evolve sold the site to MPB Structures, a firm owned by the Michael Boyle and based at Crucible Road, for £1.92m in February this year, netting the investment firm a cool £900,000 profit in just three years.

It’s the latest in a line of high-profile acquisitions for MPB, who have already snapped-up sites across the town including the former Tata office site in Weldon Road, the piece of land next to the Morrisons distribution hub for £2.4m, and the former Weetabix factory in Princewood Road for £3m, which they have since sold on to an investment firm.

Now an application to demolish the Co-op building has been given the green light by North Northants Council officers with MPB’s housing arm, Glenrowan Homes, taking charge of the site.

A statement from the firm to this newspaper said: “Glenrowan Homes is developing proposals to regenerate the site and will be looking to consult with local stakeholders and residents before finalising its plans and submitting a planning application.”

Our reporters understand the application will be for a mixed use development, with retail and commercial space taking up some ground floor units and homes built on the remainder of the site.

It is estimated demolition will take between six and eight weeks. Demolition traffic will leave and enter the site via Wood Street and some single-lane closures will be necessary to enable the safe demolition of the building. Work will take place between 7am and 5pm on Monday to Friday.