Council to decide future of former pub in Rectory Farm

Published: Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A restrictive covenant on a former pub could be amended to allow for the development of a new convenience store in Rectory Farm.

The site is bound by a legal clause which stipulates that the premises should always be used as a public house. However, the developer that recently bought the empty pub has plans to transform the building into a convenience store.

Northampton Borough Council is the authority responsible for the site and will decide later this month whether to alter the covenant to allow the conversion to go ahead. Negotiations have taken place between the Council and the owner of the property to agree terms that protect the community facility which the previous pub provided. The proposed arrangement includes a one-off payment to the Borough Council of £30,000 and a commitment to provide a community space within the property free of charge.

Councillor Tim Hadland, Cabinet Member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “Legal action to enforce the covenant could leave Northampton Borough Council with a substantial bill and would not, of its own, bring the pub back into use. That money would be better used by investing in our town and the people who live in it.

“Disused buildings are never conducive to creating healthy communities and should the covenant be enforced, this site could continue to stand empty indefinitely. The developers have offered an arrangement that will avoid costly legal action and still ensure the availability of a practical community space. On balance, a compromise seems to offer the best result for the wider community.”

The Cabinet meet on 19 October to establish if the restriction is still appropriate.