Basildon's Northgate House may become 60 flats

Echo: Pat Rackley Pat Rackley

A BASILDON office block could be turned into flats, giving a boost to plans to regenerate the outdated town centre.

Plans have emerged to convert Northgate House, the block above the BHS department store, into 60 flats.

It follows the announcement of a facelift for the nearby St. Martin’s Square and a tree-lined boulevard linking Gloucester Park with the town centre, under the much-heralded town centre masterplan.

The Northgate House proposal echoes a project first put forward for the building in 2005, but never brought to fruition.

Malcolm Buckley, Basildon councillor responsible for regeneration, said: “We have seen some developers fail to deliver in the past, most notably on Northgate House and on the Laindon Centre. However, we’re optimistic that this will not be a repeat.

“In principle, it is a significant deve l o p - m e n t w h i c h w o u l d bring a lot to the town centre.

I do have some c o n c e r n s over parking, but as long as they are adequately designed and offer proper, decent accommodation for local people, then it is to be welcomed.”

The application asks whether prior approval is needed for a change of use of the building, following a change of law designed to speed up planning processes for proposals that look to convert buildings.

The distinctive block has stood empty for years. Planning permission was granted in 2005 to convert Northgate House into 90 flats, adding an three extra floors to the building.

Now Croydonbased developer Anwar Ansari has applied for permission to use it for flats – as asked the could to decide on the plan within 56 days under new fast-track planning rules.

The majority of the flats would have two bedrooms, with one-bed, three-bed, and studio flats also part of the mix.

Mr Ansari’s agent, Suburban Studios has said the proposal would offer no extra parking, but offers to find a residents’ parking scheme in the town centre in the two years after the flats are occupied.

Northgate House stands next to Great Oaks car park.

The council’s own studies suggest only half the town centre’s 1,400 parking spaces are being used all day, so parking might not be the issue it would be in other town centres.

PAT Rackley, Independent
Labour councillor for St.
Martin’s Ward, which covers
the town centre, has voiced
strong reservations about the
proposal, and especially the
lack of parking.

She explained: “I’m
gobsmacked by this.
“There are already a lot of
problems with town centre
parking and people trying to
get a space. There are a lot of
town centre flats already.”

Comments (9)

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4:02pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

Good. Now turn that Aviva office blocks into flats too. It will take some numbers off tbe amount of places Ball, Blake, Buckley and co. Builders want to put on greenbelt
Good. Now turn that Aviva office blocks into flats too. It will take some numbers off tbe amount of places Ball, Blake, Buckley and co. Builders want to put on greenbelt Howard Cháse

4:18pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Bettycraven says...

Flats do really well in the town, Brooke house as an example
Flats do really well in the town, Brooke house as an example Bettycraven

4:38pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

Bettycraven wrote:
Flats do really well in the town, Brooke house as an example
Mismanagement of housing allocation by housing inappropriate people there is the main problem. Too easy for a quick fix for the Council.
[quote][p][bold]Bettycraven[/bold] wrote: Flats do really well in the town, Brooke house as an example[/p][/quote]Mismanagement of housing allocation by housing inappropriate people there is the main problem. Too easy for a quick fix for the Council. Howard Cháse

6:22pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Royr says...

Nothing to do with the story, but - WILL THE ECHO FOR CRYING OUT LOUD GET A 10 YEAR OLD TO SORT OUT THEIR WEBSITE!

I found it a bit of a struggle to read the item - incorrect letter spacing, inappropriate use of bold type, rubbish column width and one paragraph that makes absolutely NO SENSE:

"Now Croydonbased developer Anwar Ansari has applied for permission to use it for flats – as asked the could to decide on the plan within 56 days under new fast-track planning rules."
Nothing to do with the story, but - WILL THE ECHO FOR CRYING OUT LOUD GET A 10 YEAR OLD TO SORT OUT THEIR WEBSITE! I found it a bit of a struggle to read the item - incorrect letter spacing, inappropriate use of bold type, rubbish column width and one paragraph that makes absolutely NO SENSE: "Now Croydonbased developer Anwar Ansari has applied for permission to use it for flats – as asked the could to decide on the plan within 56 days under new fast-track planning rules." Royr

6:41pm Thu 19 Dec 13

marie k robinson says...

yet more blooming flats, when will someone wake up and smell the roses, we must have reached saturation point with them,. schools are closing, no more infrastructure is being built, what happens when these people have famillies, need schools/ colleges, new roads etc, lets hope the next government can deal with it, i have lived in basildon for 49 years, i used to be proud of it, but no more im afraid
yet more blooming flats, when will someone wake up and smell the roses, we must have reached saturation point with them,. schools are closing, no more infrastructure is being built, what happens when these people have famillies, need schools/ colleges, new roads etc, lets hope the next government can deal with it, i have lived in basildon for 49 years, i used to be proud of it, but no more im afraid marie k robinson

6:43pm Thu 19 Dec 13

ShipShape says...

I won't believe a word of this until the Echo produces a photograph of someone mournfully pointing at the block of flats.

Mrs Rackley has let herself, the Labour party and the town of Basildon down by failing to raise at least one angst ridden finger towards the dastardly building.

Must do better!
I won't believe a word of this until the Echo produces a photograph of someone mournfully pointing at the block of flats. Mrs Rackley has let herself, the Labour party and the town of Basildon down by failing to raise at least one angst ridden finger towards the dastardly building. Must do better! ShipShape

8:47pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Devils Advocate says...

The time is coming when the good folk of Basildon begin asking the Pie folk of Billericay who forward these ideas, including the best parking place in the town for the Jaguar, exactly what they are doing to ensure the support infrastructure, especially in regard to hospital services, the water table, the green areas within the town boundaries to provide oxygenating, doctors surgeries, post office counters to serve everyday residents of the town, etc. ad infinitum, stay abreast with the inrush of population they, and their central government, plan for us people who used to be part of the democracy of Basildon.
The words they have been planting on you to convince you the bad guys are in the past are showing signs of fraying away completely. Come on you far righters, explain the full plans for us! (Especially with the censorship of councils now raising its head!)
The time is coming when the good folk of Basildon begin asking the Pie folk of Billericay who forward these ideas, including the best parking place in the town for the Jaguar, exactly what they are doing to ensure the support infrastructure, especially in regard to hospital services, the water table, the green areas within the town boundaries to provide oxygenating, doctors surgeries, post office counters to serve everyday residents of the town, etc. ad infinitum, stay abreast with the inrush of population they, and their central government, plan for us people who used to be part of the democracy of Basildon. The words they have been planting on you to convince you the bad guys are in the past are showing signs of fraying away completely. Come on you far righters, explain the full plans for us! (Especially with the censorship of councils now raising its head!) Devils Advocate

7:16pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Duckorange says...

ShipShape wrote:
I won't believe a word of this until the Echo produces a photograph of someone mournfully pointing at the block of flats.

Mrs Rackley has let herself, the Labour party and the town of Basildon down by failing to raise at least one angst ridden finger towards the dastardly building.

Must do better!
Just for you, ShipShape: http://bit.ly/192L8G
w
[quote][p][bold]ShipShape[/bold] wrote: I won't believe a word of this until the Echo produces a photograph of someone mournfully pointing at the block of flats. Mrs Rackley has let herself, the Labour party and the town of Basildon down by failing to raise at least one angst ridden finger towards the dastardly building. Must do better![/p][/quote]Just for you, ShipShape: http://bit.ly/192L8G w Duckorange

7:17pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Duckorange says...

Duckorange wrote:
ShipShape wrote:
I won't believe a word of this until the Echo produces a photograph of someone mournfully pointing at the block of flats.

Mrs Rackley has let herself, the Labour party and the town of Basildon down by failing to raise at least one angst ridden finger towards the dastardly building.

Must do better!
Just for you, ShipShape: http://bit.ly/192L8G

w
Comment system broke the URL, try again: bit.ly/192L8Gw
[quote][p][bold]Duckorange[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ShipShape[/bold] wrote: I won't believe a word of this until the Echo produces a photograph of someone mournfully pointing at the block of flats. Mrs Rackley has let herself, the Labour party and the town of Basildon down by failing to raise at least one angst ridden finger towards the dastardly building. Must do better![/p][/quote]Just for you, ShipShape: http://bit.ly/192L8G w[/p][/quote]Comment system broke the URL, try again: bit.ly/192L8Gw Duckorange

Comments are closed on this article.

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