New cashpoint plan plans approved for town left without bank for two years

Broad Street, Bungay.Picture: Nick Butcher

Broad Street, Bungay.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A town’s “frustrating” two year wait for a 24-hour cashpoint is almost over after clearing the latest hurdle.

East Suffolk Council’s north planning committee approved plans for Cardtronics UK to install an ATM at Bungay Town Council’s Broad Street office.

The town has been without a bank since 2018, with the town’s only cashpoint inside a convenicence store.

The proposal, with the cashpoint set to be installed in a listed building, could be reversed to restore the building to it’s current state, should the ATM no longer be needed in the future.

Town mayor Bob Prior told the committee: “The closure of the banks in Bungay has been devastating for the town.

“We are also very concerned once the post office closes, access to any kind of financial services will be zero.

“The current machine is frequently empty due to high demand.

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“Other sites have been investigated thoroughly throughout the town but these have been deemed unsuitable, or the owners would not give their consent.

“The town hall is an ideal site as it is centrally located and easily accessible.

“We are working hard to attract more visitors to Bungay to keep our largely independent businesses viable, but it seems we are fighting a losing battle if those visitors and other residents are forced to go to other towns for their banking, which drives trade away.

“Should the ATM ever be removed, the building can easily be restored to its prior appearance.”

The closure of the Lloyds branch was the fifth closure the town had suffered in recent years.

District councillor for Bungay, Judy Cloke, said: “Ideally the town needs a bank, but having lost the big four I can’t see them coming back.

“I don’t think anyone who lives in a town without access to cash understands how frustrating it can be.”

The plans were unanimously approved by councillors.

Councillor Craig Rivett proposed approving the plans, saying: “I fully support this work and it seems a very sensible solution to assist Bungay.”

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