Home   Romney Marsh   News   Article

New Romney NatWest could be turned into homes, shops and offices

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

Plans to change a former NatWest into homes and retail space have been submitted to councillors.

The former bank on New Romney High Street has been earmarked for two offices, four maisonettes and two shops.

If approved by Folkestone and Hythe District Council planning officers, the vacant building and flat attached will be extended and refurbished.

NatWest bank, High Street, New Romney pictured when it was open in 2015. Picture: Gary Browne FM3993104
NatWest bank, High Street, New Romney pictured when it was open in 2015. Picture: Gary Browne FM3993104

The branch closed in November 2015, sparking frustration and controversy across towns and villages on the Romney Marsh.

Its departure meant that Lloyds, across the road from the former NatWest, was and remains the only bank branch open in the area.

Fresh blueprints show the site at 60 High Street would be divided on the ground floor to provide two retail units at the front and and two commercial office spaces to the back.

It also entails a rear first floor extension, to provide two masionettes with the existing first floor flat providing another two.

The extension would be divided by a central courtyard on the first floor for residential access.

Plans for the NatWest building in New Romney. Credit: On Architecture design and access statement (6730019)
Plans for the NatWest building in New Romney. Credit: On Architecture design and access statement (6730019)

In the design and access statement, produced by agent David Weir from On Architecture on behalf of applicant Lance McKay, it says there is "no other viable use option for the site".

It said: "The orientation of of the proposed extension and its views have been carefully considered with respect to the existing neighbouring properties.

"There are small windows looking into the courtyard, with the majority of openings angled towards St Martin's Field. There are also no windows proposed on the side elevations to reduce potential overlooking issues.

"Due to the good public transport links and the central location of the site, no parking has been provided in the proposal.

"There is rear vehicular access through a carriageway accessed five shops down to a rear cul de sac if required. This is the current pedestrian access arrangement."

Currently, the building has a rear ground floor flat roof extension which extends to the border with St Martin's field. The new extension would have pitched gable roof with slate tiling, and the architects would strive to retain the character of the existing building and make sure it is in keeping with the area.

The NatWest closure followed a series of bank companies closing branches after major drops in footfall, with more people banking online or by mobile.

The company said there had been a 22% fall in transactions at the New Romney branch since 2011.

Former New Romney Mayor Patricia Rolfe becomes the last ever customer of the town's NatWest bank on its closing day. She is pictured with staff. Credit: Patricia Rolfe
Former New Romney Mayor Patricia Rolfe becomes the last ever customer of the town's NatWest bank on its closing day. She is pictured with staff. Credit: Patricia Rolfe

Patricia Rolfe - who was mayor at the time - branded it as 'clear discrimination against rural areas'.

Residents across the 100 square mile Marsh region were then left having to use Post Offices or cash machines to manage finances - Lydd has had no branch since Lloyds TSB closed a decade ago in 2009.

Anti-closure campaigners argued that the losses particularly hit the elderly with no internet or a car to travel to another town.

The town council began a campaign against the decision called Keep Every Rural Bank (KERB), which was supported by Dymchurch councillors. The group wrote to Chancellor George Osborne in protest.

The new proposals for the site show that traditional dormer windows would be added to the existing roof, and where possible, materials would be sourced locally for sustainability.

Pedestrian access for the shops will be available on the High Street, and there would only be on street public parking on New Romney High Street available.

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More