Gazette offices in Devizes will be turned into flats
9:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in Latest News
Planning permission has been granted to turn part of the former Gazette & Herald office in Devizes Market Place into two apartments, one fewer than planned.
Developer Clenche Properties, run by Geoffrey and Rosemary Taylor in Bromham, applied to change the use of the first and second floor for residential use and to create a third apartment in the attic.
But Wiltshire Council’s conservation officer objected to the apartment in the attic and recommended refusal.
The officer, Isla Macneal, said: “The proposal is to remove the roof and replace it with a new mansard style roof, in order to create an additional flat.
“There is limited loss of historic fabric. However a mansard roof will alter the appearance of the building.”
She said the current design meant the roof was hidden from most views but the proposed new roof would be more prominent.
“The proposed roof will have a ridge height level with the top of the existing chimney. Whilst it may not be visible in views from the pavement it will be visible in longer views.
“Such a roof will change the architectural intent and proportions of the property.
“This is a substantially taller building than its immediate neighbours so an increase in height would result in increasing dominance of this property over the adjacent small scale grade II listed buildings,” she said.
Two residents of Carriage Court in Station Road whose homes back on to the office, also objected in letters to Wiltshire Council planners.
Resident Mary Newbery said: “The proposal to build a mansard roof and the change of windows will render the building extremely ugly (and visibly so) and will mutilate a listed property.”
As a result of the objection from the conservation officer, Mr and Mrs Taylor agreed to amend their plans to not include the attic.
The two apartments granted permission will have two bedrooms.
The ground floor will remain as office space and an extension at the rear of the ground floor office will be knocked down.
The Gazette owners, Newsquest, closed the office in January.
The building dates from the early 19th century and is Grade II listed.
A derelict building at the back of the office, which used to house the newspaper’s printing press, is also owned by Clenche Properties and plans to redevelop that will be the subject of a future planning application.
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