Innovation key to simple success: Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service policy is to actively encourage the fitting of residential sprinkler systems, particularly in domestic properties of three-storeys or more and with the early involvement in development of all parties in the construction process, this came to fruition at Northampton House.(Incident report)

NORTHAMPTON HOUSE HAD been empty for nearly five years when, in 1998, Northampton Borough Council received Comer Homes, planning proposals to convert the 11-storey office building into residential flats.

Comer Homes, clients of the building,s new owners, Ferrari Dewe and Co, had previously converted several properties including a hospital into flats. The proposal for Northampton House would result in 187 luxury one and two-bed roomed balconied apartments. The complex would also benefit from a health suite, including a swimming pool and sauna, and an underground car park.

A target proposed by the UK government is that, by 2008, 35 per cent of new housing should be built on previously developed land. As a result, the Northampton House site was approved for change of use, since the plans complemented one of the key priorities of the Northamptonshire Borough Council County Structure Plan (1996-2016) in which the borough council aimed to make best use of brownfield land, contaminated land, buildings and infrastructure within the urban areas for housing and other development. …

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