A Grade II-listed building in the centre of town could be turned into 17 flats, if given the go-ahead, something a high street retailer says will oust it from its premises.

Plans to build 13 new flats and convert four more at 13 East Street, Bridport, the building which houses Peacocks, have been submitted to Dorset Council by CPLC Associates.

They show plans to demolish the current lower back part of the building to make way for a new building housing two flats on the ground floor, six on both the first and second floors and three on a third floor.

Peacocks has submitted an impact statement to Dorset Council as part of the consultation process in which the company’s head of property, Roger Williams, says: “I can confirm that the scheme, as proposed, if implemented would mean that Peacocks could no longer be able to trade here because we would need to vacate the premises to enable construction to proceed and the new unit created would be far too small for our requirements.”

A conservation adviser for The Georgian Group, which works to protect Georgian architecture, has also submitted comments in which it says the development would cause ‘significant harm’ to the listed buildings on Downes Street.

It says: ‘We believe that the scale and massing of the proposed development will have a significant impact and cause harm to the row of listed terraced houses. There will be a substantial increase in building height which will overwhelm and dominate the heritage assets on the other side of the road, and this in turn will have a damaging impact on the conservation area as a whole.’

The 17 proposed flats each contain a kitchen and lounge area and a bathroom/ensuite and separate bedrooms.

The development would come with new drainage, bin and cycle storage areas, Juliet balconies to lounge areas on the first and second floors and full-length balconies on the third floor and second floor on front-facing flats. There would also be a lift to accommodate disabled access.

CPLC says the proposal would see the removal of an ‘unsightly roof’ and the construction of the new flats would create a ‘modern residential building that is more in keeping with the street scene.’

It says the proposal includes several improvements, including repairing and renovating a badly leaking roof and rotting windows on the East Street side.

It says: ‘The improvements will safeguard the future of the building for many years to come. On balance, the proposal represents a significant benefit to the heritage asset.’

Members of the public are welcome to submit comments. So far, concerns raised include the height of the development, the conservation area, impact on neighbouring properties and the potential loss of Peacocks.

Comments can be made until Tuesday, August 27.