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18/0762/FUL | Replacement shopfront, ground floor rear extension, first floor rear porch and alterations to rear windows and doors. | 49 High Street Sidmouth EX10 8LN
  • Total Consulted: 6
  • Comments Received: 3
  • Objections: 2
  • Supporting: 1
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Comment submitted date: Tue 22 May 2018

While I support the reuse of old buildings and welcome the intention to retain original features where possible, I can not support the change of frontage.

The Heritage, Design and Access Statement supplied by the applicants is very sketchy and I feel it doesn't not give sufficient information for an informed decision to be made.

It is stated that the building has been out of use for some years, and if that were the case then it might be grounds to make concessions in design in order to bring it back into use. However, although the ground floor has been empty for some time the upper floors were still in use by Govier's until the end of last year, which I understand was when their lease expired. The building as a whole has therefore only been on the market for a relatively short period.

49 High Street was at one stage known as Abernethy House, and was the abode of Dr T H S Pullin, the Medical Officer of Health for Sidmouth for many decades. It is of historical interest for this fact as well as for its Grade II listing.

We know much about this building from contemporary newspaper reports and photographs, as well as from the 1976 Planning Application 76/C0312

Dr Pullin put in the double bay windows in 1865 and it was the view of the town and the Local Board that this was a great improvement to the building. Dr Pullin died there in 1911, so we know the windows were in place for at least 46 years. The photograph the applicant describe as c1904 can not be earlier than 1912.

Photographs of 1918 and 1925 show the Govier's shop front, with its central door and flanking windows.

A photograph from what appears to be the 1930s (judging by fashion) shows the National Provincial Bank frontage with a set of three windows in the centre and a door at each end. I am sure there will be a record in the back issues of the Sidmouth Herald, held at Sidmouth Museum, which would give an accurate date for the Bank arriving in High Street. There was certainly a National Provincial Bank in Sidmouth in 1931.

This means that the Govier's window was not a long lasting part of the High Street.

In 1973 49 High Street was listed. As the applicants have shown, this was the building when it had the Bank frontage. In 1976 the double bay windows were reinstated when the building was occupied by the Bristol and West Building Society.

If the applicants are trying to suggest that the building should be returned to the state it was when it was listed then they are mistaken in thinking that it was the Govier's front which was in place at the time.

In 1976 the reinstatement of the double bays was met with great pleasure by the Conservation Officer and the Committee. I will not bother to quote your records at you but just mention that it was characterised as a good example of 'constructive conservation' and welcomed as restoring balance to the building which had previously been lost.

My objections are on then on the aesthetic grounds losing the balance of the building, and on the recreation of an inappropriate and uncharacteristic detail which only existed for a sort time. It would also not create a style which is 'typical' of Sidmouth High Street and I can see no justification for it.

If larger display areas are required there is no reason that the lower bays should not become fully glazed to ground level. This would do far less damage to the listed building itself and to the setting of the many other listed buildings in the High Street.

Mr ROGER TILL (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 22 May 2018

The so called return to the old Goviers windows from 1904 is not correct. The house was Dr Thomas Henry Stocker Pullin's until his death in 1911, when his son Stuart Ede Pullin inherited it. It could not have become Goviers before then. By 1918 it was Goviers with the shop front shown on the application. However, the frontage was later changed to doors at either end with 3 windows between and it was in this configuration that the building was listed. After listing, the building was again changed to the frontage we now have. I would support a frontage which retains the existing two two-storey high bay windows with door between. Any change in frontage would adversely affect its relationship to its neighbours, particularly Honiton House (Hadyn Welch and Travelworld) and Osbourne House (Lloyd's Bank) to its south side. I support the changes other than the change of frontage.

Mr Haydn Welch (Supports)

Comment submitted date: Fri 04 May 2018

I would support this application particularly to see a rather ugly building redesigned to become a traditional retail business.

Sidmouth is a destination town for holiday makers and day trippers. Many of these are seeking an experience by the sea with appropriate shops and cafes to stroll around and to shop.

This development will link the adjacent buildings into one small group of shops. Helping to bring some identity to this end of the High Street, rather than (at present) where the shops on this side of the street seeming to just peter out.

If this development were to be refused, there is a high probability the premises will remain an eye sore for another year or two until such time another interested party comes along. Such other party would most likely require a similar re design.

Bringing additional accommodation into the town centre by redeveloping the upper parts into flats, is most welcome. Particularly as upper parts of High Street premises are often under used. This application seeks to bring two more residential units into the town.

This application should be supported wholeheartedly whilst the opportunity presents itself.

an Idox solution