Conservation Area

Viable solution for commercial building refurbishment

Barnstaple architects PMA, has obtained planning permission, enabling their client to revitalise fine commercial buildings in Newport, Barnstaple. Finding a viable solution for a future use of buildings is the lifeline for many commercial buildings, many like these, having stood empty for years. Secondary retail locations area particularly sensitive, feeling the impact of growing out-of-town shopping, the vast floor area of nearby supermarkets and the exponential growth of online shopping.

A creative approach respects the sensitivity of a location in a designated Conservation Area, which exists to manage and protect the special architectural and historic interest of a place.

Conservation area
Look beyond the tired shopfronts.

North Devon Council, the local planning authority, recognises one of the most striking characteristics of the central section of Newport Road is the number of traditional shopfronts which survive. The proposal retains the two retail units, which will have their windows and doors replaced to match. The out of character modern awning currently above the two central doors to the flat above, will be removed. The existing flat spanning the two shops remains.

An astute approach plans an extension to the rear of these commercial buildings, designed in keeping with other nearby properties, rendered with a slate tiled roof, referencing the majority of the neighbouring buildings, with the windows and doors in timber. The extension creates three new residential units, adding significantly to the scheme’s financial viability, offering a long-term sustainability.

Towns evolve over time; nothing stands still. Areas of Barnstaple have their own distinct identify, with investment in individual buildings fueling confidence and encouragement for other similar projects, encouraging for future communities.

Many older buildings in towns in the south west are well-designed, spacious and have great potential. Look up, see beyond perhaps the empty shop; what’s behind that façade which may look now just look tired and sad? A creative and innovative approach can unlock real opportunities. A future for our towns and community.

Peregrine Mears Architects