Flats planned for Grade 2 listed building in Dorchester

Flats planned for Grade 2 listed building in Dorchester

Published by Maria Greenwood at 1:09pm 7th May 2020.

An historic town centre property in Dorchester could have its upper floors converted to flats.

The building, at Cornhill, was the Parsons tobacconists and hairdressers for more than 40 years and more recently had been home to the Abbey National building society.

In its past it was a combined saddler's shop and tax collectors.

'The history'

The building, which is currently empty, is grade 2 listed and is in the town centre conservation area. It is said to have been built, or reconfigured, around 1830 with its Regency double bowed shop front. It had once been a town house.

Records show that the building was owned by the Williams family from Bridehead, Little Bredy, remaining in their ownership until 1944. From the mid 19th century it was occupied by the Pouncy family who were described as saddlers and collectors of taxes. The building was also visited by Edward VII allowing the Royal coat of arms to be displayed above the door.

In 1936 the premises were transferred to Walter Parsons who took a lease from Colonel Sir Robert Williams and opened a tobacconist and hairdresser's, the property staying in the Parson family until July 1979 when they ceased trading.

3 Cornhill dorchester

'New plans'

The application to Dorset Council for the changes to the building says that the ground floor will remain in commercial use although a future tenant has not been identified at the moment.

The upper floors will be converted to three separate units, two with studio living style accommodation and one one-bedroom apartment accessed from first floor and taking up the second floor.  

The application says the proposed changes do not involve the removal of any historic items and will include the reinstatement of fireplaces and chimney pieces. No changes are proposed to the front of the building in Cornhill.

Comments on the application can be made to Dorset Council by June 2nd.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter