Plans have been submitted to restore and refurbish a Grade I medieval Wiltshire castle now in use as a family home.

Large parts of Devizes Castle, which has been at the centre of the market town since the 11th century, were purchased by Kazuhiko Akao in February 2022.

The site is now in use as a family home, but a planning statement prepared on behalf of Mr Akao warned that the castle is in “a state of severe disrepair, with considerable structural damage.”

This comes after the scheduled monument was included in Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register due to “extensive problems” that put it at risk of “collapse.”

A heritage appraisal found that “inadequate previous maintenance” has led to a number of issues, including leaking roofs, boundary walls collapsing and parapets wobbling.

Mr Akoa has launched two planning applications to restore, refurbish, and redecorate large parts of the historic structure, adding that these repairs are “urgent.”

One application is for works throughout the interior of Devizes Castle while the other is for external conservation repair and restoration works to the outside fabric of the castle.

The plans have been drawn up in close collaboration with both Wiltshire Council and Historic England, and Mr Akao emphasised that he is “fully committed” to preserving the building and grounds.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes CastleDevizes Castle (Image: Newsquest)

A design and access statement included in the plans said: “The new owner’s aspiration is to conserve and sensitively repair and restore the castle, its grounds, and other associated elements.

“Through careful and responsible stewardship and significant financial investment, the new owner is committed to safeguarding the building and its grounds and ensuring this asset of significant heritage importance can be managed for the long-term benefit of its owner and the wider local community, and to secure its enjoyment for future generations.”

The scheme is intended to carry out sympathetic conservation repairs and partial restorations in order to “prevent further deterioration” and ensure the building meets the needs of 21st century living.

Mr Akao owns the majority of the Northern part of the castle, most of the grounds, and the gatehouse.

This includes a 19th century house which has been built in several phases atop the surviving earthworks of the medieval castle.

The gatehouse is not included in the current planning applications.

The South tower and the Coach House are the only locations within the Inner Bailey not owned by Mr Akoa.

Wiltshire Council's decision deadline for both applications is November 24.