New lease of life for historic 18th Century buildings
PUBLISHED: 13:24 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 24 December 2019
Archant © 2017
An historic building in a busy market town is set for a new lease of life after being vacant for more than a year-and-a-half.
A former bank in Bungay is set to be turned into flats and retail units after plans were given the go-ahead.
Proposals to develop the former Lloyds Bank building in Market Place, Bungay were approved by East Suffolk Council under delegated powers last week.
The development centres around "the reconfiguration of the ground floor of the old bank to be turned into retail units, along with turning the first and top floor into three flats" at "early 18th Century" buildings that "occupy a prominent position."
The site comprises "two Listed buildings" at 11 and 11A Market Place that were both listed in 1949.
And after the change of use plans, from a bank to retail, and listed building consent applications were both approved by the council, it will see the upper floors turned into three small flats with two shops being created on the ground floor.
A design and access statement submitted to the council by agents OWL Architects Smeaton on behalf of applicant Eric Oldham states the "overall site area (footprint) is approximately 127m sq."
It adds: "The building is currently vacant and most recently accommodated a branch of Lloyds Bank.
"The application is for Full Planning and Listed Building Consent for the conversion of the building from A2 (professional use) to Retail and C3 residential uses.
"This proposal utilises the upper floors for three small flats in the centre of the historic market town and secures the historic building in use, two shops are created from the ground floor area."
With Lloyds Bank closing in May 2018, back then it was the fifth bank closure that the town had suffered as Bungay was left without either a local branch or a 24-hour cash machine.
At the time a spokesman for Lloyds said the reason behind the closure was the changing ways customers use the bank, such as internet banking, which resulted in it being used less often.
In approving the plans, the council's delegated report states: "This proposal utilises the upper floors for three small flats in the centre of the historic market town and secures the historic building in use, two shops are created from the ground floor area.
"Recommendation is for approval with conditions.
"The harms to historic fabric are 'less than substantial' and the principle of use of the upper floors for residential accommodation is supported both in terms of planning and listed building considerations."