Restaurant plan approved for conversion of former bank in Queensbury

Yorkshire Bank in Queensbury in now closed.Yorkshire Bank in Queensbury in now closed.
Yorkshire Bank in Queensbury in now closed.
THE conversion of a bank into a restaurant “has the potential to be held up as an example of how quality new development and heritage conservation can be achieved” – according to a Council officer.

This week Bradford Council granted planning permission for the change of use of the former Yorkshire Bank building on High Street, Queensbury, into a restaurant and four apartments.

The application, submitted in April by Chris Powell, said the changes would see the ground floor of the building converted into a restaurant with space for 64 diners, while the upper floors would be turned into four apartments.

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There will also be a new glass entranceway and an outdoor dining terrace – which would allow an additional 36 diners in warm weather.

The building’s traditional features would remain, according to the plans.

Built in 1895 as a vicarage, the empty building lies within the Queensbury Conservation Area.

The application to convert the building had proved popular, with 67 people writing to the Council to voice their support for the plans. However, a report by planning officers says several of these support comments were left blank.

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The Council’s Design and Conservation Officer Simon Hinchcliffe said: “There is little information provided relating to signage and advertising requirement for the business. Inappropriate shop frontage works and overuse of signage along the streetscapes in Queensbury are one of the biggest threats and detractors to the Queensbury Conservation Area.

“The redevelopment of the property has the potential to be held up as an example of how quality new development and heritage conservation can be achieved.

“We would therefore request that advertising is kept to a minimum.

“The application will bring an underappreciated building back into use and this will help with its future preservation.”

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Referring to the planned glass entrance porch, officers said it “would actually improve the appearance of the frontage of this property.”

There had been two objections to the plans, raising the issue of a lack of parking.

The report by planning officers said: “The proposed opening times have evidently been designed to try minimising the issues with parking, and it is understood that the applicant has secured parking off-site at a nearby MOT station for customers.

Parking on the High Street is often problematic, and a restaurant use would warrant a significant time spent on the premises. However, the site is located within proximity of a local centre, which is extremely well connected by public transport. It is also surrounded by residential developments which would be likely to use the premises and would perhaps walk the short distance. There need not be a heavy reliance on customers driving to use the business.

“Notwithstanding this, on-street parking is widely available in the area, and as such there is no concern with regard to highway safety.”

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