A HISTORIC building in the heart of Cricklade is being auctioned off.

Originally, the 18th century structure on the village’s High Street was a private residence occupied by solicitor Joseph Lovett and his wife, two daughters, son and servant.

In 1903, Capital and Counties Bank Limited bought the property and then merged with Lloyds Bank, which used the site for 115 years until 2018.

The large quarter of an acre garden was home to The Cricklade Bloomers, a gardening group which has had success at Royal Horticultural Society competitions and won the Champion of Champions award.

The property has listed building consent to be altered to a four-bedroom home but its owner, George Devlin, failed at the first attempt to obtain planning permission to change its use back to being a house.

He didn’t carry out pre-application marketing of the property for commercial use before submitting the application.

Planners at County Hall felt the loss of the building to community uses, such as a bank or a shop, would damage the town’s High Street and “contribute towards the further decline of services and facilities in Cricklade which play an important role in meeting the day to day needs of the residents.”

Mr Devlin died of Covid 19 in April this year.

Strakers will auction off the building on Thursday, October 15.

Mr Devlin’s son Paul said: “We have decided to put the property up for auction so that a new owner can carry on where my father left off and give this magnificent landmark building a new lease of life."