A PROPOSAL to replace the slates and create a new pitched roof to replace the leaking Charter Hall roof in Okehampton has been submitted to West Devon Borough Council for Listed Building Consent.

The hall, which dates from the 1950s, is the venue for the town’s regular well-attended Saturday morning coffee mornings and all manner of social events and town council and other functions.

It leads on behind the Grade II* listed historic town hall, itself dating from the 17th century, which will be unaffected by this work.

Launceston-based PLACE Architects, who have been appointed to do the work, have submitted detailed plans for the project – which is a major undertaking by Okehampton Town Council.

It involves covering a roof space of 400 square metres with new slates. The report describes how Welsh slates were considered for this, but because the slate could only be delivered in one go – with cost implications for the project – it has been decided to go for Spanish ones.

The work also includes demolishing a redundant chimney, which is currently letting in water, and also removing visible plastic ventilation which was put in in 2012 when work was last done on the hall. These are to be removed, to be replaced by ventilation within the new pitched roof being proposed which, say the architects, ‘will be more discreet’.

A statement from the architects says: ‘The Charter Hall has experienced multiple water leaks over a period of time. Visible staining is occurring on the ceiling over the hall space in various locations. Numerous slates are slipping which need multiple ad hoc repairs.

‘The nature of the proposal includes works to pitched and flat roofs covering 20th century Okehampton Charter Hall including repairing and reinstating hall ventilation distribution system, with new maintenance access, replacing failing flat roof coverings and relaying new natural slate pitched roof coverings. The 17th century town hall facing Fore Street is not part of these works and is not affected by them.’

Comments are invited on the proposal to West Devon Borough Council via the planning section of their website. Application number 0404/23/LBC.

Meanwhile, the Government’s Planning Inspectorate has turned down an appeal to build two homes on land east of the Old School House in Milton Abbot. The original application, 3456/20/OPA, was turned down by WDBC in January 2022. Planning inspector Hollie Nicholls decided that the sloping field, which is just 200 metres from the boundary of the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the south, is ‘part of the green and pleasant setting of the village itself’. She said that as a site on the edge of the village, the development would extend the eastern boundary of the village, extending ribbon development and blocking views over the landscape from this approach to the village.