Plans to convert officers in Southernhay into guest accommodation have been unveiled as ‘home-working here to stay’.

Internal alterations to the ground and first floors of the offices at 38 Southernhay East in Exeter have been proposed in order to change their use from officers to guest accommodation.

The application says that the proposed alterations will ensure a sustainable and viable future for the property and quotes figures from the Institute of Directors which reveal coronavirus looks set to have a lasting impact on office use as justification for the scheme.

ln a survey of close to a thousand company directors conducted last month, nearly three quarters said they would be keeping increased home-working after coronavirus, and more than half of those polled said their organisation intended to reduce their long-term use of workplaces, with more than one in five reported their usage would be significantly lower.

A statement with the application adds: “The minor internal alterations will not harm the character of the building, which will be enhanced through the restoration of lost internal features and the preservation and continuing maintenance of the exterior to ensure the high-quality visitor satisfaction. There will also be economic benefits to local businesses and the wider city through the provision of this facility.”

The basement, which is already in an established use as a wine bar, and the second floor, which is already in residential use, would be unaffected by the plans.

Exeter City Council planners will determine the fate of the application at a later date.





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