Plans to change former bank into a cafe
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An empty building which once housed a town's last remaining bank could be turned into a cafe.
A planning application has been submitted to South Norfolk Council to change the use of the former Barclays bank in Loddon into a cafe/restaurant with full renovation and garden work.
Barclays closed its Loddon branch in Church Plain, which was the only remaining bank in the town at the time, in December 2017.
The building has remained empty ever since and residents have had to travel to nearby towns for their banking needs.
The proposed site for the new cafe is situated in a conservation area in the centre of Loddon which is characterised by its typical rural market town features, with its historic streets and natural beauty of the surrounding Norfolk Broads.
The plans follow in the footsteps of developments in Norwich, where banks have been transformed into cafes, restaurants, a music venue and a television studio.
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A design and access statement by Norwich-based architecture firm Archidite, the agent of the development, stated the former Barclays bank building would be fully renovated with minor alterations to create a new door.
The ATM will be removed and a new window will be installed to match the existing windows and a garden terrace will be created to provide outdoor seating.
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The report continued: 'Given that the existing unit is vacant for 12 months and that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages local planning authorities not to stifle opportunities for small businesses, it is felt that the proposed use is acceptable.
'It will also provide jobs and a community facility for the surrounding area and will thus enhance the diversity of activity in the mixed use area and contribute to its regeneration.'
The application submitted to the council on January 31 states the proposed cafe will create jobs for 12 part-time and six full-time employees.
There will be no car parking at the site with visitors having to rely on either on-street parking or the council-owned Church Plain car park situated next to the building.