Sainsburys, Ottery St Mary

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Inserting a supermarket into a sensitive heritage setting was a tricky design and planning proposition. Design review gave assurance that the impact would be acceptable.

The Site and Scheme Outline

A 20,000 sq. ft. food store with a 124-space car park on a very sensitive site in the centre of Ottery St Mary, within the listed Chanter House Estate and close to listed buildings. The design aim was to achieve a balance between a modern building and its heritage context.

The Design Review

The Panel gave its support in principle to the scheme. The scheme’s ‘honest contemporary stance’ was welcomed as the supermarket would ‘have a presence but not be aggressive’. The scheme was considered to be sensitive to its historic context. A prominent listed wall across the site was kept and incorporated into the scheme and important trees were retained. Materials were carefully selected to fit the character of the setting.

The Panel sought changes to the roof and offered comments about environmental sustainability and the car park.

The Panel’s letter was reproduced in full in the Design and Access Statement submitted as part of the planning application.

A Consent

Some aspects of the scheme gave rise to concern, not least the impact on the conservation area.   English Heritage recognised the case for a store but pressed for other options be looked into before the scheme was accepted. In the end, the scheme gained consent. The Panel’s support was reported to the planning committee.

Photo credit Commercial Property Photography

Client: Sainsburys
Design Team: Stride Treglown, CHQ Architects
Planning Authority: East Devon District Council
Scheme: Class A1 food store, customer car parking, service access and associated development
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