3-4 West Street, Exeter

Region: South West

Local Authority: Exeter

Summary: Listed Grade II this verncular building shares a party wall with the medieval church of St Mary Steps.

Description: The Statutory List Description, dating to the1970s, is short and describes the Georgian shop frontage only, commenting that the building is “probably 18th century”. Following applications for planning permission and listed building consent for its conversion into flats, a site inspection was undertaken by the local authority planning and archaeology officers.
Issue: This identified several areas of pre-18th century fabric including a fine moulded timber ceiling of 16th century date.  The scheme would remove a section of the moulded ceiling to create a new staircase, which it was suggested would only affect modern replacement timber.
Strategy: To clarify this and the wider impact of the works, the applicant was asked to provide a specialist assessment of the ceiling and of the building as a whole. Few replacement timbers were identified in the area of the proposed new stair and the applications were refused after the agent declined to amend them.  Later, a new set of proposals was submitted which re-used an original stair position and retained other significant historic fabric. 
Outcome: Planning permission and listed building consent have now been granted.


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