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Written by Al Findlay   
Thursday, 07 May 2015 16:04

An 18th century commercial property in the heart of Ottery St Mary has been sold. Coles Furnishers’ origins date back to 1780 when James Shepperd re-built the premises after fire destroyed it.

Coles Shop

Nephew Thomas Shepperd inherited the property in 1830 and converted it into Shepperd’s Grocery Store.

The business suffered damage during the Second World War and, in 1974, the property became Coles’ Furnishers – a carpet and fabric shop.

The substantial four-storey Georgian property boasts two interconnecting ground floor retail units, a large basement area, two self-contained apartments on the first and second floors and an adjoining two-storey warehouse.

Planning permission has already been granted to convert the warehouse building to two mews style houses and there is a rear car park plus a large rear garden, which offers further development opportunities.

The sale came about after the current owners John and David Hemmings made plans to scale down the business in the lead up to their retirement, although a scaled down version of the furnishers is to be housed within their existing outfitters shop in the town.

Newton-Abbot-based commercial property specialists Charles Darrow brokered the deal to sell the property, which has been acquired by a local development company, who have yet to reveal their full intentions for the future of the property.

And joint-director Paul Heather says the sale provides further indication of a revival in fortunes for the commercial property sector.

He said: “We congratulate the buyers on what can only be described as an excellent acquisition.

“This is a property steeped in history and predictably there was considerable interest in it.

“Potential buyers recognised the enormous potential the property has and we look forward to seeing it further prosper in the future.