WORK is set to take place to “sustain the significance” of one of the oldest buildings in Bournemouth, which was once home to one of the town’s founding families.

The Grade II listed Littledown House in Chaseside dates back to around 1780 and was originally occupied by the Cooper-Dean family who played a key role in the development of Bournemouth.

For the past 40 years the building has been used as a business centre as part of JP Morgan’s large site off the A338 Wessex Way.

Various renovation, repairs and maintenance works have taken place since the turn of the century but now the investment banking giant wants to carry out a project to help “maintain it in its optimum viable use”.

A heritage impact assessment by Elaine Milton Heritage & Planning Limited said the works will “sustain the significance of the listed building (cause no harm), ensuring its conservation in line with the requirements of the national planning policy framework.”

“They essentially relate to undoing the harmful modern interventions and repairs to help preserve the building fabric and usability of the building for office use,” the assessment said.

“The proposals would be minor in scale and nature and would involve minimal loss of historic fabric, would be light-touch and sympathetic in their method, materials and appearance and would be mainly reversible.”

The scheme from Bournemouth’s largest private sector employer has been brought forward following a recent survey report on dampness issues, which brought together a number of observations and recommendations that required further attention.

This includes proposed work to the roofs, external facade, windows, external doors, portico, below ground drainage, ventilation, heating, cooling and some elements of the interior to the building.

Bournemouth Echo: Littledown HouseLittledown House

A design and access statement by Apt Technical Design Limited said: “The exact nature, extent and cause of some of the defects highlighted in this document and on the accompanying drawings will not be fully apparent until scaffolding access is erected.”

JP Morgan, which employs around 4,000 staff in its Bournemouth operation, has applied to BCP Council’s planning department for listed building consent. The application is currently being assess by council planners.

The Cooper-Deans were one of the original families who founded Bournemouth. William Dean was one of the major landowners in the early 19th century alongside the Earl of Malmesbury and Sir George Tapps, whose family took the name Gervis and later Meyrick.

Ellen Cooper-Dean, who was the last direct descendant of the family, died in 1994.