Northampton

Northampton Greyfriars bus station site new plans revealed

Aerial view of Greyfriars bus station demolition site Image copyright HiOptic Photography
Image caption Greyfriars was costing local taxpayers £500,000 a year to maintain and would have cost £30m to refurbish

Three firms have been shortlisted to put forward plans for the multimillion-pound redevelopment of the site of Northampton's former bus station.

The Brutalist Greyfriars building, likened to the "mouth of hell", was demolished in March having dominated the town's skyline for about 40 years.

The firms are putting forward plans for a mix of uses for the site.

They include plans for shops, homes and leisure facilities on the four-acre (1.62 hectare) town centre location.

Image copyright HiOptic Photography
Image caption Greyfriars, opened in 1976, and designed as a piece of Brutalist architecture was described by commentators at its opening as a "feat of engineering"

The companies have now been asked by Northampton Borough Council to prepare detailed proposals and drawings for the site, with a deadline at the end of March 2016.

Their proposals will then be put on display to the public before a final decision on the preferred scheme is made by council's cabinet later in the spring.

Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We will be looking for an ambitious scheme that allows this site to fulfil its potential and brings value to the town centre for years to come.

Image copyright Corrine West
Image caption The "mouth of hell" was demolished in less than 10 seconds, a spectator said
Image caption The building collapsed after a series of sharp bangs, signalling the detonators had been fired

"We expect an exciting scheme at Greyfriars that will open up the area and enhance the town centre as a whole.

"A site on this scale in a town centre is a rare opportunity, and we are committed to getting the best scheme we can," he said.

The 1970s building was once described as "like a great big mouth of hell" by Channel 4 presenter and designer Kevin McCloud.

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Media captionMore than 2,000 explosives were used to collapse Greyfriars

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