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Arundel Old Town


  • Level 1 - Tarrant Street
  • Open Plan Commercial Space
  • Staff Gallery Area
  • Store Room
  • WCs
  • Lift Access
  • Level 2 - Sparks Yard Garden
  • Open Plan Commercial Space
  • Loggia
  • Lift Access
  • Level 3 - Sparks Yard Loft
  • Open Plan Restaurant Space with Vaulted Ceiling
  • Kitchen
  • Disabled WC
  • Lift Access
  • Outside
  • Split Level Generous Courtyard Garden
  • Level 1 - Tarrant Street
  • Enhanced and Expanded Commercial Flex-Space
  • Level 2 - Sparks Yard House
  • Full Height Atrium Entrance Hall
  • 3 Double Bedrooms (all En-Suite)
  • Study/Studio/Bedroom 4 with Cloak/Shower Room
  • Level 3 - Sparks Yard House
  • Open Plan and Back Enclosed Kitchens
  • Open Living and Dining
  • Cosy Living/Library
  • Laundry/Boot Room


A landmark property in the heart of the old town with planning permission for unique four bedroom luxury home with a large private courtyard garden and street level iconic commercial flexi-space. HISTORY A History of the County of Sussex [Vol. 5, part1] Sparks Furniture Depository, albeit initially constructed as a warehouse, appears to have also accommodated a variety of Charles Sparks' other enterprises. A separate but related piano storage building was at some time also constructed to the north of the building. In the mid 20th Century, both buildings were multi occupied as commercial premises. The Furniture Depository became known as The Emporium and for a number of years operated as a retail ''flea market' on its two lower floors with an apartment on the third floor, above. In 1989 the building was acquired by the architectural practice of Thorpe Architecture and together with the adjacent Avola House and Piano Store buildings. They were combined to form a relatively large scale design studio campus. The internal configuration of the building was subsequently changed, with a new stairway connecting all three levels and associated service accommodation constructed within the Tarrant Street level (level one), all primarily accessed from the Sparks Yard garden into level two of the building. The Sparks Yard garden area was created by combining the external areas of all three properties. A new access stairway was created from Tarrant Street, located within the eastern ''lean-to' element of the building. Level one of the building was later fitted out as a restaurant separately accessed direct from Tarrant Street. Sparks Yard was listed grade II in December 1994. The description reads: ''Furniture repository, later offices and restaurant. C1880. Red brick with contrasting yellow/red brick decorative courses and segmental arches and surrounds to windows. Brick modillion eaves cornice. Slate roof Brick chimneys. Three storeys with 2 storey lean-to section at east end. Double gabled roof South elevation to street: ground floor has arcaded front with five archways, the central one being taller with a stone keystone to its arch. The masonry arches forming the facade at this level were blocked with timber hoardings at time of inspection. At the west end a larger arch with stone keystone has a double wooden garage door. The lean-to section at the east end has been altered (c 1991) to an arched entrance to match that at the west end, leading to a fight of brick steps. First floor: 6 double-hung sash windows with glazing bars, 1 small window in lean-to section replaced by an arched opening. Second floor: 6 double-hung sash windows with glazing bars. East elevation: second floor has 3 double-hung sash windows with glazing bars and painted sign. West elevation is similar to east but 2 of the 3 windows have a differing glazing bar configuration.' The architectural practice continued to occupy the building until 2012, albeit that its accommodation requirements significantly reduced after 2002. Sparks Yard General Store opened for business in the Tarrant Street facing, level one of the building in 2003. The business grew rapidly and within 12 months, it also occupied level two above. Later it grew again to occupy the whole building, with a restaurant on the third level. Sparks Yard General Store traded for in excess of 16 years, winning many awards until closing at the beginning of January 2019. FUTURE The proposals, approved in 2019, seek to retain as much of the character and detail of the listed building as possible. During all of its historic changes of use, largely as a result of the high flexibility of the building's ''open floor' warehouse format, very little variation to the building's structure and fabric have been required. It has retained the original utilitarian character both externally and internally. The approved proposals adopt a similar approach. The concept is that of a highly prominent, high quality and spacious living environment, linked to one of Arundel's most iconic commercial spaces. The 2019 planning consents [planning approval and listed Building approval] read: Change of uses to form an upper floors single, four bedroomed residential unit [use class 3a] and a ground floor (level one) commercial unit [use classes A1, A2 and B1a], together with all associated works. In respect of level one, the use classes approved cover: A1 Shops - Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes A2 Financial and professional services - Financial services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health and medical services) and including estate and employment agencies. B1 Business - Uses which can be carried out in a residential area without detriment to its amenity. B1(a) Offices - Other than a use within Class A2 Externally. This is an iconic building within the Tarrant Street Streetscape. It is the largest, most visually prominent building in this part of Arundel's old town area. The approved proposals only include minor changes any elements of the building visible from either Tarrant Street or any other part of the town, from which, the building is significantly visually exposed. The south [Tarrant Street] elevation is unchanged except for the reopening of the two sidehung timber service doors in its western part. These doors were sealed in c.1994 and are now opened up, to provide an access lobby to the reconfigured ground floor commercial unit. The east elevation remains the same except for the addition of a personnel access door to the existing lift motor room. The North [Sparks Yard] elevation remains as existing, whilst some works have already been completed to the west elevation. The proposals also include the installation of conservation roof lights in the central ''roof valley' of the building, illuminating a new two storey height, main entrance atrium to the house. ''The house' is designed as ''upside-down', with the main living space, in a completely open plan, loft-like, format occupying the spectacular third level. The accommodation ''wrapping around' the open two storey high entrance atrium, with great external views of both Tarrant Street to the east and west and the coastal plain to the south. The house's private walled garden on its north side for the visuals focus for both the main courtyard entrance and bedrooms on the second level. The bedrooms accessed from a colonnaded extension of the entrance atrium. The existing lift provides direct access to both levels of the house from a dedicated entrance at Tarrant Street level below. The house is designed as being totally separated from the commercial space below, but, could, of course, be internally linked, if desired. The ground floor commercial flex-space is already iconic. The approved proposal seeks to further improve both its access and internal accommodation. The existing large arched windows remain. A new entrance vestibule from Tarrant Street, accessible via the building's existing large timber service doors, will serve a significantly enlarged open plan commercial area. The existing store room areas, located at mezzanine level, being opened up to the main, large volume, floorspace. This is already a well-known known space within the town. Its further enhancement can only increase its prominence. The overall design aim is to retain not only many of the existing valuable elements of the building as possible but also to retain as much of the open feel of the building as possible, especially in the third level, where all roof trusses are currently exposed. The approved proposals also leave the currently exposed fair faced painted brickwork as the finally exposed finish, with only new subdividing partitions constructed as finished plastered walls. LOCATION The delightful town centre of Arundel has a wealth of artisan shops and bistros, and is dominated by the Castle of the Duke of Norfolk. The tidal River Arun flows to the Coast and other attractions nearby include the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, the Lido, the beautiful beaches to the south and the South Downs National Park to the north. The surrounding countryside provides many recreational pursuits including golf, mountain biking, walking on the numerous footpaths and bridle paths and gliding from the South Downs near Storrington. There is a mainline railway station at Arundel serving Gatwick Airport in around forty-five minutes and London Victoria in around one hour thirty minutes. The cathedral city of Chichester provides comprehensive shopping facilities arranged within a partly pedestrianised centre.