Developers looking to transform Barnstaple’s Oliver Buildings have been forced to further revise their plans for the site.

Acorn Property Group has submitted an amended planning application for the Grade II listed building.

It is intended the former Shapland and Petter factory will be redeveloped into apartments, shops and restaurants, as well as a civic area with kiosks and market stalls.

However, plans for a tower building have had to be scaled back for a second time after meeting opposition from Historic England.

It is now proposed the new building will match the height of the two listed blocks, with the four-storey building including commercial space and apartments.

Original plans catered for a larger six-storey tower building.Original plans catered for a larger six-storey tower building.

Initial plans submitted in January saw the tower measure in at six storeys, and a first revised plan submitted in the Summer saw it reduced to five.

Andrew Strathdee, development director at Acorn, said the revised plan will be 'just as effective'

"We are confident we have done everything possible to accommodate consultee comments and are keen to progress with the scheme and save this brilliant building," said Mr Strathdee.

"Whilst we've downsized block one from our original proposals, the architects have risen to the challenge and designed the smaller building option to be just as effective and attractive as previous plans.

"We are keen to progress and await a decision from the planners."

In a letter to North Devon Council, Historic England's Catherline Marlow said the revised plans would allow the body to 'retreat from its position of strong concerns/object'.

She said: "Whilst there are some historic environment aspects of the application that the LPA will want to continue to negotiate and seek changes for, this can be most successfully done at local level; and that the regeneration and reuse of the area and Oliver Building's is welcomed in principle.

"We are very keen to see the Oliver Building retained and beneficially reused, and are supportive of the creation of good quality public spaces.

"We hope that revisions to the scheme can be made that enable all heritage professionals to say that his is a positive development that respects the site, context and greater setting of the OBs and the rest of Barnstaple's historic environment."

The historic buildings date back to 1888. They were designed by local architect William Clement Oliver for Shapland and Petter and have been Grade II listed since 2015.