What’s the future for this Barnstaple commercial property?

This Barnstaple commercial property needs to find it’s future. 81 Boutport Street is a undoubtedly one of the most identifiable properties in Barnstaple. This distinctive Grade II listed building was built in circa 1898-9, for well-known, leading local businessman F.W. Raymond. It must have been an important addition to the town, changing the Boutport Street scene forever. Raymonds Bakers was an important business in the town, until the late 1980’s.

With a clear intention to make a statement, reflecting importance and success, the impressive façade uses red brick, with dressings of stone and terracotta is unusual in the town.  The design of three storeys of living accommodation with garret to a Flemish Renaissance style. The ground floor has wide round-arched shop front to right, the voussoirs are particularly distinctive being of brick and stone; similar shop front to left, formerly a cart entrance with panelled double doors; designed for purpose is the late 19th century. The building is topped off with a tiled roof, with decorative pierced ridge-tiles, with large red brick chimneys on each side wall.

So what does the future hold for this important building? Of equal importance is that a viable use is found for the building, which has remained empty for several years. The deterioration is evident internally, so it is now clear that a viable use is the key to establish a future for this unique building.

Barnstaple architects Peregrine Mears Architects are exploring options. The upper floors suit conversion to residential use, creating important living accommodation in the town, contributing to the housing need and supporting the town’s community.

The ground floor is 366 m2 (3,420 sq ft), way beyond the requirement for individual retail businesses in this type of location. With the changing face of shops owing to the development of key out of town retail stores and growth in popularity of online shopping, leisure uses are being explored, bringing life back to the building and vibrancy to the street. Future uses are subject to planning permission and Listed Building approval, so watch this space.

Peregrine Mears Architects