A planning application to transform Barnstaple’s Oliver Buildings into new homes, restaurants, a six storey tower and business space has been submitted.

Picture: Matt SmartPicture: Matt Smart

The plans, submitted by Acorn Property Group and Anchorwood Development Ltd, aim to restore the Grade II listed building as well as build two new buildings and three kiosks in order to transform the site into a thriving riverside quarter.

The proposals will see the upper floors of the former Shapland and Petter factory converted into two-three bedroom homes.

Among the new buildings is a mixed-use six-storey block, which has been designed to give the original buildings more prominence among the wider Anchorwood Bank development.

A second new building will also have a mix of commercial and residential space.

The Oliver Buildings in Barnstaple. Picture: Matt SmartThe Oliver Buildings in Barnstaple. Picture: Matt Smart

A design and access statement for the application said: “The proposals include the sensitive restoration of existing buildings using materials and details appropriate to the character and building fabric of the listed buildings.

“New additions and alterations will be sensitively designed to retain the industrial character of the site.

“The scale of proposals has been carefully considered and engagement with NDC, The Design Review Panel and the local community throughout the pre-application process has resulted in significant design amendments and development of the design to more fully take into account the sites industrial heritage.”

The three commercial kiosk buildings will be situated in the site’s open space.

It is hoped the space could be used for a range of activities such as local food markets, seasonal markets and music and community events.

The statement added: “This new riverside development will be revolutionary to the centre of Barnstaple, a large public space overlooking the river with an active edge will create numerous opportunities for local events and entertainment purposes.

“Many other spaces with similar attributes within the town centre are either too small or lack any active fringes.”

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.