Victorian leather factory in Wellingborough could be turned into flats

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A former Wellingborough leather factory dating back to the late 1800s could be turned into flats.

The planning application for the former Victorian tannery at 21 Rock Street will go before Wellingborough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (Sept 18) and officers are recommending the development is approved.

The four-storey building was the former home of J Coldicott which supplied leather for the area’s boot and shoe trade and was first built in 1895. It was still in use by the firm into the 1930s. However, in more recent times it has been the base of artificial flower hire businessman Tom Butler.

The application by Mr Butler says the building has been on the commercial market without any interest.

Mr Butler wants to turn the disused 22,000 sq ft building into 20 one-bed flats and four two-bed flats. There will be 11 on-site car parking spaces as well as a bike store and communal garden.

In recommending approval, the council’s planning officers say: “The proposed scheme would (be) raising design standards, conserving the environment, meet the national space standards, includes some provision of on-site parking, evidence has been provided by the applicant through a parking survey which demonstrates that there would be parking available on street to mitigate the deficit in parking provision and the development would not cause highway capacity or safety issues, and includes satisfactory crime prevention measures.”

A viability assessment submitted by the developer and seconded by the council’s own commissioned reports says that the scheme cannot support any affordable housing or 106 contributions for primary school education.

The proposal has had six letters of objections from residential neighbours who say they are concerned about the parking problems the development could create and they are also not happy about the noise and dust created by the conversion.

Planning permission is recommended with 17 conditions.