Barnstaple's built industrial heritage preserved
— 13 Oct 2015
John Alexander has been involved with the Barnstaple Building Preservation Trust (BBPT) for a number of years. A site in Barnstaple is under development which contains a key part of Barnstaple's built industrial heritage - The Oliver Buildings, part of the Shapland Petter furniture factory built in 1888 after an earlier manufacturary in the town burnt down.
These cutting edge buildings were built in record time to accommodate a furniture building process, with early fire protection innovations such as separating and protecting defined areas from the spread of fire, and the installation of a very early sprinkler system.
The BBPT successfully applied for them to be listed grade II in August after trying to communicate with the developers on the future use of these buildings. The BBPT are currently in discussions with local councillors and are publishing the importance of these buildings to the town to try and ensure they have a useful, appropriate and sustainable future on the river Taw, which runs through the centre of the town.