Delapre Abbey Conservation Plan
The Northampton Corporation purchased the property in 1946 and the building became the home of the Northamptonshire Records Office in 1958 until 1992 when they moved to their new purpose-built accommodation at Wootton Hall. Negotiations were opened with the Northamptonshire County Council, and existing tenants to gain surrender of the lease and vacant possession of the Abbey, and the Northampton Borough Council published a Planning Brief for the site in August 1999.
Northampton Borough Council regained full responsibility for the property in 2000 and has made extensive efforts to find a suitable long-term sympathetic use for the building. This has proven to be a challenge due the complex and sensitive nature of the building. As an interim measure the Council has entered into an agreement to allow occupation of the property which has significantly reduced the level of vandalism for which the building was a target due to its isolated location.
The Council commissioned The Conservation Studio to write a Conservation Plan for the complex of buildings. The purpose of the Conservation Plan is to bring together all known documentation on the buildings; assess their historic importance and how they may be sensitive to change. The Council's Cabinet adopted the Conservation Plan on 4 December 2006.
An interim Building Preservation Trust has been established and has invited specialist companies to tender for an Options Appraisal with the aim of establishing the most appropriate way forward to bring the building back into appropriate and sensitive use, which will safeguard the long-term future of the buildings.
On 9th July 2007 the Council approved the declaration of a Conservation Area covering the Abbey complex and part of the historic parkland - see separate page.
Date last reviewed: 28/01/2009