Plans to redevelop Barnstaple’s Oliver Buildings are finally moving forward.

Plans for the Oliver Buildings are expected later this year. Picture: Matt SmartPlans for the Oliver Buildings are expected later this year. Picture: Matt Smart

Developers Wessex Investors have reached a deal with Acorn Property Group to regenerate the Grade II-listed building at Anchorwood Bank.

The project will create a mixture of 29 one-to-three bedroom apartments and two-three bedroom duplexes.

The ground floor of the former Shapland and Petter factory will be used for commercial space.

A statement from Acorn Property Group said development proposals would ‘breathe new life’ into the long-vacant building.

Wessex Investors have reached a deal with Acorn Property Group to regenerate the Grade II-listed Oliver  Buildings at Anchorwood Bank. Picture: ContributedWessex Investors have reached a deal with Acorn Property Group to regenerate the Grade II-listed Oliver Buildings at Anchorwood Bank. Picture: Contributed

The plans are expected to go to North Devon Council’s design review panel tomorrow (Thursday), with a planning application following in Autumn.

Andrew Strathdee, land manager for Acorn’s Devon and Cornwall office Acorn Blue, said: “We are extremely excited to be working with Wessex on such an interesting building that is a key part of the character of the town.”

The Oliver Buildings project is the final phase of the Anchorwood Bank development.

Next will be the first store to open at the site’s retail park on August 1.

Andrew Pegg, of Wessex Investors, said Iceland was hoping to open late next month, and DFS planned to open late August.

Developers could not confirm a completion date on the restaurant buildings, set to house Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito, at this stage.

Mr Pegg said: “We will be thrilled to see Next open on August 1.

“They have been committed to the scheme since it was on the drawing board and it’s a huge endorsement of Barnstaple that they are making such a significant investment in their brand here.

“The fit-out is progressing well and the store will look fantastic when it opens.”