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Old bank could be turned into new cafe

PUBLISHED: 12:32 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:54 27 January 2020

The Santander branch in Market Place, Holt. Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

The Santander branch in Market Place, Holt. Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

Archant

An old bank building in a Norfolk town could be transformed from "one of the more unattractive" on the high street into a new cafe.

The branch in Market Place, Holt, shut its doors for the last time on Thursday, June 13, at 4pm after Santander announced in January it was closing branches across the country.

The former branch then went onto the market in August 2019 for £180,000.

Now, a planning application has been submitted to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to transform the building into a cafe with a one-bedroom flat above it.

The applicant, Karen Darrell, bought the premises as an investment for an elderly relative and plans to convert it.

What the new cafe and one bedroom flat above the old Santander branch in Holt if the planning application is approved (subject to change) Picture: N J Myhill ArchitectureWhat the new cafe and one bedroom flat above the old Santander branch in Holt if the planning application is approved (subject to change) Picture: N J Myhill Architecture

In a design and access statement sent to NNDC, it said: "The building is situated in a central position in a thriving town centre community and lends itself to a variety of uses with particular emphasis on retail/commercial on the ground floor.

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"The proposal involves adding a small extension at first floor level to make space for a kitchenette and the ground floor cafe uses existing glass shop frontage to Market Place and has space for several small tables and chairs with a serving area."

The building, situated in Holt town centre, is not listed but is subject to the Holt town centre conservation area meaning the building must fit into the street scene.

The former Santander bank branch in Holt's High Street is up for sale. Picture: Stuart AndersonThe former Santander bank branch in Holt's High Street is up for sale. Picture: Stuart Anderson

The site, which is amongst the older buildings on Fish Hill, was largely destroyed by the great fire of Holt in 1708, after which much of the market place is thought to have been rebuilt.

The statement said: "The former bank currently has a dated look with non-matching joinery and small painted arched eyebrow-like window openings facing Market Place.

"Any remodelling proposed likely will result in no significant material loss to heritage assets and can only afford the town a chance for an improvement to one of the more unattractive current buildings lining Holt's Market Place and backing Fish Hill.

"A clearer shop frontage completes a more traditional look improving the desirability to a business tenant."

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