Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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

Devon County Council will be carrying out works in Barnstaple from Monday with temporary traffic lights in place.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:41
Residents have been clearing up flood debris and mud at Corner Lane in Combe Martin

Residents are busy with clean-up operations this afternoon (Saturday) following the earlier downpours.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:31
Pilton residents protesting against plans for yet more homes in the area. Picture: Sarah Howells

Residents have had enough as new proposals for 44 homes add to more than 600 new houses approved by North Devon Council for the area.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:19
The A39 near the Hoops Inn in Woolsery. Picture: Donna Paterson.

North Devon is currently under an amber weather warning as heavy rainfall lashes the region. Latest road, flooding and bus service disruptions here.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Sophie Welch has become an NCS Leader.

Sophie Welch, 17, chosen from thousands to become an NCS Leader

Read more
Yesterday, 07:59
Park School headteacher Gareth Roscoe

Gareth Roscoe reflects on his first 100 days in the job – and a few changes

Read more
Fri, 17:57
Don't miss the music, entertainment and antics of the LeperFest at Taddiport in Torrington on Saturday, February 1.

Don’t miss the big parade of lepers plus live music at taddiport this Saturday (February 6) from 8.30pm

Read more
Fri, 14:00
KT Tunstall will headline GoldCoast Oceanfest on Sunday, June 19

Big names announced for this year’s GoldCoast Oceanfest at Croyde from June 17-19.

Read more
Fri, 13:05
Memories of Barnstaple fair. Picture: Barnstaple Fair Heritage Society

Barnstaple Fair Heritage Society have received a welcome boost after receiving lottery funding for an exciting project.

Read more
Fri, 10:31
Geoffrey Cox and Peter Heaton-Jones

Peter Heaton-Jones and Geoffrey Cox are divided on whether or not the UK should leave the EU.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications