Plans to turn these derelict banks into new restaurants

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 26 Nov 2018

Former banks in two East Riding town centres could get a new lease of life as restaurants.

It comes after a spate of closures across East Yorkshire left empty banks on town high streets.

Hornsea, which has been left with no banks after three branches shut, could now get a restaurant and bar at the landmark former HSBC bank building in Newbegin.

Meanwhile Pocklington’s former NatWest branch, which shut in the town’s market place in May, could also be converted into a restaurant.

East Riding Council has received planning applications for restaurant conversions for the former bank buildings.

Hornsea’s deputy mayor Cllr Andrew Eastwood said the run of bank closures is a trend across the East Riding as well as nationally, leaving prominent buildings empty in town high streets.

He said: “Overall, I think people would think it’s better to have empty buildings occupied than not.

“Of Hornsea’s three bank closures, HSBC has been empty the longest so the idea that is going to change is likely to be welcomed.

“As to whether Hornsea needs another bar and restaurant is another matter.”

Angry Hornsea residents staged a protest march after banks abandoned the town (Image: Peter Harbour)

The former HSBC Bank, on the corner of Newbegin and Bank Street, has been a prominent feature in the town since 1890, but is now empty after the bank shut in 2013.

Cllr Eastwood said: “The whole purpose of the high street is it should be occupied so people can use it.”

The applicant behind the restaurant plan for the former HSBC branch is David Ahearne, of London-based Gulmanda Ltd.

The planning application for the Newbegin building is for change of use, from a bank to a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, with a flat above.

At Pocklington, applicant Charlie Cameron, of Cameron Construction Ltd, is applying for change of use of the ex-NatWest building at 31, Market Place, to restaurant use on the basement and ground floors, with the first floor as residential use.

Hornsea’s HSBC branch shut in 2013, followed by NatWest and Lloyds within weeks of each other this summer.

Disgruntled Hornsea residents staged a protest march over the closure in September, after the town was left without any banks.

East Riding Councillor Barbara Jefferson says: “I’m sure residents would have preferred any of the banks to have remained open.

“It’s such a shame, many residents are having to travel to Beverley or Bridlington for banking, which is so inconvenient.

“A planning application has now been submitted for a restaurant at one of the former banks and clearly it has to go through the planning process."

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