Express & Star

Go-ahead given to convert disused Dudley bank into restaurant - but with one condition

Plans to convert a former bank branch into a restaurant have been given the go-ahead.

Sedgley's former Barclays bank could become a restaurant if plans are approved

Carl Mellor, head of planning at Dudley Council, has granted permission for proposals to convert the former Barclays Bank in Sedgley Bull Ring into a bar and restaurant.

But Mr Mellor placed a condition prohibiting the venue from operating after midnight.

Planning officer James Mead said the building was locally listed and in a conservation area.

He said there had been no objections to the proposals.

The restaurant will feature a total of 11 tables, three of them being clustered in booths.

The scheme will also include two first-floor flats, one with one bedroom, the other with two.

Mr Mead said: "The proposal would introduce a new use into a historic building that has been vacant for over a year and would be compatible with surrounding retail uses.

"As such, it is considered that the proposal would make a positive contribution to the overall role of the centre and its retail function would not be undermined."

Paul Simkin of Thorne Architecture, which is acting as agent for the scheme, said the building dated back to the mid-19th century, and was a significant heritage asset because of its age and style.

“Sedgley has a mixture of building styles, and this conversion will enhance the area and bring additional trade and investment,” he said.

Mr Simkin added that it would also provide two much-needed homes.

He said the exterior of the building would be tidied, but no significant alterations were planned.

“The alterations and conversion will have minimal impact on the property and any historic fabric will remain untouched,” he said.

Mr Mead noted the windows of the flats would be closer to those in facing buildings than recommended in planning guidelines. However, he said some allowance could be made for the fact that the neighbouring buildings were in commercial use.

Mr Mead noted that there was very little recreational space included for the occupants of the flats. But he said the site was within easy walking distance of numerous green spaces, including Sedgley Hall Farm.

There is no parking included in the plans, but Mr Mead said the village benefited from good public transport by train and bus, as well as nearby public car parks.