Inspiration in a medieval town
Calvert Jones is an independent lifestyle shop which opened its doors in the beautiful riverside town of Henley-on-Thames at the beginning of September 2020. When Calvert Jones took the lease of 19 Hart Street, the building had previously been a retail unit, so they only needed to make cosmetic changes to freshen the place up and align it with their brand. However, this Grade II listed building is situated within the Henley Conservation Area which means that they needed listed planning consent to be able to make any changes at all. Iconic Project Management were delighted to be asked to help them with this application.
Calvert Jones sell a carefully curated selection of wonderful homeware, accessories, gifts, cards and plants. They focus on products that are simple, beautifully designed, and consciously made to inspire you and brighten up your day. Husband and wife team, Sue and Mark, have a genuine passion for retail. Their dream was to sell the things they loved in a space that was interesting and quirky, offering a warm and welcoming place to find wonderful things for the home, family or friends. They searched for a property in several prestigious, historic commuter belt towns before setting their hearts on 19 Hart Street in Henley on Thames.
19 Hart Street is in Henley’s Character Area 3 which is the historic centre of Henley and provides the most intensive concentration of listed buildings. The street is laid out in the long, narrow burgage plots associated with a medieval town and suggests that 19 Hart Street has been occupied since that time. The current timber framed building dates from the 16th, or early-17th, century and was extensively altered during the 19th century.
Planning consent for Grade II Listed Building
The proposed works retained the general layout of the unit, including the shopfront, entrance door, fascia and hanging sign bracket. The entrance steps were to be modified to improve angle access into the unit, including removing the dwarf wall guarding with suitable replacement in keeping with the new brand look and feel. An internal partition was to be removed to open the retail space (not believed to be structural), as part of the Landlord’s enabling works for the development.
Flooring was to be retained but overpainted to suit brand colours. Internal surfaces, doors and retained fixtures were to be made good and redecorated. The ceilings were retained and redecorated with track and recessed lighting updated with new energy-efficient fittings to suit the new fit-out layout. New individual letter logo signage was proposed to be added to the fascia, with lettering added to the shopfront and door glazing. A new hanging sign was proposed to fit the existing redecorated gallows bracket, complete with individual letter logo signage in new brand colours. All signage was non-illuminated.
Although all the planned works were essentially cosmetic, with no structural works planned as part of the development, the building’s Grade II listing meant that listing planning consent was required. It is always critical that this consent is granted before beginning any works; not only is it important to comply with planning laws to preserve the integrity of our historic towns but failure to comply may result in works having to be halted, schemes having to be changed or businesses being prevented from trading. Non-compliance may even result in fines or a prison sentence!
Mark is a hugely experienced store development director, with a ready supply chain of trusted of contractors. He was happy to manage the fit-out himself. However, Calvert Jones were keen to make certain they had the correct consent for their project, so they asked us to assist with their planning application.
Iconic Project Management surveyed the site and undertook elevation drawings, clarifying the signage and works to the building’s exterior. We produced all the necessary reports, including a heritage statement and an arboricultural and biodiversity statement, and completed the application form.
We met with the South Oxfordshire District Council case officer who was satisfied with the proposal because it was clearly sympathetic to nature of listed building. The planning application was duly submitted, and we were all pleased when consent was granted on 20th March 2020.
This was right at the start of the first UK lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It meant that fit-out work was delayed, and Calvert Jones were not able to open the doors to their beautiful new shop until September 2020. The subsequent lockdown in early 2021 added a further interruption to their fledgling business but we are delighted that they are open once more.
We believe that Calvert Jones is a wonderful addition to Henley’s town centre, with a really special selection of homeware, modern gifts, houseplants and planters. We wish them every success. Take a look next time you’re in Henley on Thames!
Director of Marketing at Iconic Project Management Limited. We specialise in retail, leisure and commercial construction.