THE Plume of Feathers in Half Moon Street, Sherborne has been granted planning permission for an external staircase to be used as a fire escape route.

Council officers realised that the original escape route for the landlord, who lives above the pub, would be removed if a redevelopment of the adjoining building was approved, which it subsequently was.

Plume of Feathers owners, Wiltshire brewers Wadworth, say the new escape route stairs will lead to the courtyard to the rear of the pub with the existing external landing and gate being removed at the grade two listed building, eliminating the need to have a means of escape via the adjoining corner property, the House of Steps.

Council officers decided that the proposed metal black staircase, although being fitted to a listed building, would not be harmful to the appearance as it could only be seen from the courtyard and any ‘harm’ to the setting of the listed building, which dates back to 1590 and is opposite the Abbey, would be outweighed by the public benefit of the means of escape.