Architects unveil radical new plans for Barnstaple’s civic centre

16:22 03 March 2014

Barnstaple based Peregrine Mears Architects believe the civic centre could provide up to 84 modern apartments. Artist

Barnstaple based Peregrine Mears Architects believe the civic centre could provide up to 84 modern apartments. Artist's impression by Peregrine Mears Architects

Archant

Council’s move to vacate the building inspires design for modern riverside apartments.

ARCHITECTS have outlined radical new plans for the future of the civic centre in Barnstaple.

Following last week’s Gazette front page story about North Devon District Council’s plans to vacate the Devon County Council-owned building, local property experts say the riverside spot could provide much-needed homes in the area.

Barnstaple based Peregrine Mears Architects believe it could provide up to 84 apartments, as well as community facilities including a gym, fitness studio, crèche, meeting rooms and a rooftop café on the second floor.

It is envisaged that the car park along the riverside could be enhanced with planting and landscaping and there is even an idea to create rooftop gardens for residents.

Practice director Peregrine Mears said: “While there is not a lot of love locally for the civic centre, maybe the time is right to consider an alternative use that will take the building into the 21st century.

“We believe the building is capable of conversion to residential use. We have looked at the possibility of this in principle and believe it is achievable.

“The shallow plan form with windows on all sides allows lots of natural light into the building. What is more, the views are terrific.

“There are many unloved tower blocks from the 1960s elsewhere in the UK that have been given a new lease of life by converting them to residential use, so why not here?”

Mr Mears said the exterior façade could be re-clad to improve the appearance and reduce the building’s energy use.

“The combination of contemporary style, stunning views and on site facilities would offer an attractive alternative for anyone looking for somewhere to live in a smart urban environment,” he added.

The firm has produced an artist’s impression of how the building could look after its transformation and is keen to see how local people feel about the idea.

“We would like to start some public debate on the future of the building and would like to hear what your reader’s think,” added Mr Mears.

North Devon Council is expected to vacate the civic centre by the end of the year but Devon County Council say no decisions have been made about the future of the building.

A county council spokesman said: “It’s very early days. We understand that North Devon Council would like to vacate the building. We’re discussing that with them with a view to ensuring the interests of both organisations are achieved.

“As part of our estates strategy more broadly, we are continually reviewing all our properties including the civic centre and other properties in Barnstaple.”

What do you think? Email newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk, telephone 01271 345056 or write to us at Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB.

3 comments

  • Straight out of the Sixties; concrete, squared off with a few pastel coloured panels to lighten the drear effect. Try again, please.

    Report this comment

    toffer99

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • Are there any architects with vision and flair? I showed just the picture to a friend they thought it was one of those lorry container buildings in China. For goodness sake get a grip and design something worthy of the beautiful location in a lovely town.

    Report this comment

    devonmaid

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Better still, do what people have been suggesting for years. Knock it down and build something more in keeping with the rest of Barnstaple!

    Report this comment

    barumite

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

The aftermath of the fire in Bideford.

Fire fighters called out to Mill Street in Bideford after fire broke out in the first and second floor flat of Mill Street building.

Within two hours fire fighters managed to get the blaze under control - more from the scene here...

Read more
Who will you be voting for in the General Election?

As North Devon and Torridge get ready to head to the polling stations tomorrow (Thursday), we asked the prospective parliamentary candidates for one last word...

Read more
Get ready for Torrington May Fair on May 7.

Traditional May Day celebrations will take place across Torrington tomorrow.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:54
Flood alerts have been issued for the North Devon coast.

High tides and strong winds tonight (Tuesday) spark warning of possible flooding from Environment Agency.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:33
Atlantic Village is hosting a street food event this Thursday evening.

Shopping outlet village will be offering late night shoppers a bite to eat this Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:47
Ilfracombe RNLI crew and a crew member from Minehead RNLI assist the casualties on the beach. Picture: RNLI/Ilfracombe.

Ilfracombe’s lifeboats rescued eight people on Sunday after being called out within minutes of each other to two separate incidents.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:35
Have you seen missing Kelly Camm?

Can you help police find missing 25-year-old Kelly Camm?

Read more
Yesterday, 10:27
Keen yogis turned out to Croyde beach to help fundraise for Nepal. Picture: Submitted

More than 150 people turned out to Croyde beach on Monday morning to support fundraising for the Nepal earthquake.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:06
Lucy Jones and Sophie Miller (both 9) with Appledore coxswain Martin Cox.

Two youngsters made bracelets to sell for lifeboat charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:02
Lundy Island manager Derek Green with Sir Antony Gormley with the newly erected statue. Picture: Nigel Dalby.

Famous sculpture visits Lundy Island to erect Landmark Trust anniversary statue.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder