NO OBJECTIONS have been raised to conversion plans for an historic Dorchester town centre shop.

The building, which has a Regency shop front, is said to be one of the key character properties in the county town’s South Street, contributing to the Conservation Area.

The building was previous the office of the Abbey National Building Society – but has a longer history, once being the home and workplace of the town’s tax collectors, who doubled up as saddlers. A plaque in the front of the building marks the connection to the father and son team.

More recently the site, at 3 Cornhill, was a shop selling bags.

A planning request for the grade 2 listed building site seeks to reduce the commercial area of the building and to create a single bedroom flat to the rear on the ground floor with a courtyard behind.

The application comes from DAP Real Estate Ltd and, if approved, will see the commercial space halved in size, although the historic timber and glazed shopfront will remain in place.

It is believed the property was originally a townhouse, the ground floor converted to commercial use in the late 18th, or early 19th century. It has been on the national list as a building of special historic or architectural interest since May 1950 and sits within the Dorchester Conservation Area.

Three years ago planning permission was given to convert the first and second floors to self-contained flats with access from a side door, which will not be affected by the recent planning request.

The new proposal is to have a smaller commercial space on the ground floor measuring 34square metres with a studio apartment behind of 46square metres, 7square metres larger than the minimum housing standard for a studio flat, with a private courtyard to the rear. access via a new door.

A planning agent, acting for the owners, says the changes are largely internal and respect the character features of the historic building.

Public comments on the changes have just closed (May 27) with Dorchester Town Council making no objection to the proposals.