Plans to convert former Lloyds Bank in Buckley into apartments look set for approval
Plans to convert the former Lloyds Bank building in Buckley into apartments look set to receive the green light.
The branch was the last remaining bank in the town before the company decided to close it in February 2019, blaming a reduction in in-store transactions.
An application was later put forward in August last year to change the use of the building, which was built in 1893, by creating six apartments.
The scheme submitted by real estate firm Four Square NW Ltd. has now been recommended for approval by a senior Flintshire Council official.
Andrew Farrow, the local authority’s chief planning officer, praised the fact that it would bring a key building back into use, despite community leaders raising concerns it would lead to a shortage of retail space in the town centre.
In a report to councillors, Mr Farrow said: “The building is historic in date and is located in a prominent position adjacent to Buckley Town Council offices and library, which is a Grade-II listed building, and Buckley Baths, which is a building of local interest.
“The bank has been closed since 2019 and it is considered that an appropriate use and sympathetic conversion will help to preserve this important building within the street scene.
“The main element, the former bank, is an attractive building constructed from red brick with period features such as mullioned windows.
“The building has remained vacant for over 18 months and it would appear it is not attractive to current commercial investors for business uses.
“The proposal will repair the building and bring it back into use adding vitality to the location.”
Local councillor Carol Ellis has raised an objection over the potential loss of retail space and the developers’ failure to provide any parking spaces.
In a statement sent to the planning department, she said: “The reason for my objection is the lack of retail units within the town as stated within the Buckley masterplan.
“One of the other redundant banks is hopefully going to be used for retail.
“I also have concerns regarding the lack of parking in what is already a congested area when it comes to parking.”
But Mr Farrow said it would be an appropriate re-use of the building and a requirement for parking was not necessary due to the town centre location.
In response to complaints that work has already started at the site, he said any changes made by the owner to date did not require planning permission.
Approval has been recommended subject to the company paying £733 per apartment to improve the Higher Common play area in Buckley.
The proposals will be discussed by members of the council’s planning committee at a meeting on Wednesday, March 3.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com