Former bank will be turned into offices after restaurant plan shelved

The Lloyds Bank in Surrey Street closed in 2018, but is set to be turned into offices. Picture: Chri

The Lloyds Bank in Surrey Street closed in 2018, but is set to be turned into offices. Picture: Chris Hill. - Credit: Archant

An empty bank looks set to get a new lease of life, although plans for it to be turned into a restaurant have been shelved.

Permission has been granted for the former Lloyds Bank, in Norwich city centre’s Surrey Street, to be turned into offices.

Norwich City Council’s planning department has granted permission for the changes to be made to the building, with the bank having shut in March 2018.

Officers at City Hall used delegated powers to give the go-ahead to Glasgow-based Left City to change the use of the building from financial and professional services to offices.

Last year, the city council had given permission for the ground floor and basement of the building to be turned into a restaurant, with offices on the first and second floors.

But, in the council report detailing why permission to allow the building to become solely offices was being granted, planning officer Robert Webb said: “Whilst permission was granted previously to restaurant use with offices above, the owners have not been successful in finding a tenant.

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“A letter has been provided by a local agent confirming that there has been little interest in the property for restaurant use, but a genuine interest has been shown by a company who wish to occupy the entire premises as an office.”

The building, originally the head office of the East Anglian Trustee Savings Bank, is locally listed.

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The applicants, in documents submitted to the council, said their proposal promoted sustainable development through the re-use of an existing building, would protect and support the city centre and supports the needs of business by providing good quality office space.

In granting permission, council officers said: “The proposal would result in the beneficial use of a building which has been vacant for a number of years.

“It would enhance the appearance of the locally listed building, and bring new vitality to the area, as well as benefiting the local economy.”

What the future holds for another former bank in the city centre is still unclear. The OPEN venue, in the former Barclays Bank in Bank Plain since 2005, closed in April.

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