A planning application for the Grade II-listed former Shapland and Petter factory could be in by the end of the year

The Oliver Buildings at Anchorwood Bank.The Oliver Buildings at Anchorwood Bank.

The developers behind revitalising Barnstaple's Oliver Buildings are still hopeful a planning application will be submitted by the end of the year.

Wessex Investors said it is still in discussions with potential partners to transform the former Shapland and Petter factory, which is the third and final phase of the Anchorwood Bank scheme.

Managing director Andrew Pegg said he hoped work would be able to start on redeveloping the Grade II listed buildings next year.

Wessex had initially hoped to share plans with the public by spring this year, but Mr Pegg said he wanted to cement a partnership for the project before submitting a planning application.

Wessex Investors managing director Andrew Pegg at the Anchorwood Bank site.Wessex Investors managing director Andrew Pegg at the Anchorwood Bank site.

He said: "We've narrowed down two potential partners, and are talking to them in detail about a development which utilises the important parts of the building.

"We are hopeful that if we can agree a way forward we can get on with a planning application some time this year.

"Rather than just plough on with a planning application blindly, we want to work with someone who will be with us throughout the project until its fruition.

"I know there are a lot of impatient people interested to see what plans we have got and speculation as to whether it's going to happen. It will happen, but it's a lengthy process.

Barnstaple’s Oliver Buildings have been included on a list of top 10 endangered buildings. Picture: ContributedBarnstaple’s Oliver Buildings have been included on a list of top 10 endangered buildings. Picture: Contributed

"Whilst it seems like we are taking a long time, in the context of the development, which we began working on in 2009, it's not out of kilter. We're not just converting a garden shed."

READ MORE: Anchorwood Bank on track for March completion as work on site continues

A planning application would be preceded by a public exhibition of plans for the 'mixed use' site.

The ground floor of the buildings would be for commercial use, with the upper levels to be made up of residential units.

The finished buildings would serve as the gateway to the Anchorwood Bank retail park, which is scheduled for completion next year.

The site will also have 172 homes, which North Devon Homes aims to start work on in November.

Mr Pegg added: "We are absolutely committed to delivering the development as the final piece of the jigsaw."