Ex-Sunderland bank to become part of restaurant chain
Plans to transform a former city bank branch into a restaurant and takeaway have been given the green light.
Back in September 2021, Sunderland City Council’s planning department validated an application for 135 Chester Road in the Barnes ward.
This included changing the use of the ground floor from ”financial services” to a restaurant and takeaway as well as extraction equipment and a new shop front.
The unit was previously occupied by Barclays Bank but closed in 2020 due to a shift in customer habits towards neighbouring branches and increased use of online and telephone banking.
During consultation on plans for the site, comments were received from the council’s planning policy team.
Council officers said the proposal would “result in the number of hot food takeaways exceeding 10% within Chester Road District Centre”.
After considering representations, Sunderland City Council’s planning authority has approved the plans.
The development includes a change of use, external works and the “bricking up of windows to the side elevation”.
According to planning documents, the future occupier for the space is restaurant chain Pepe’s Piri Piri.
A design and access statement, submitted to planners, adds the development will have a positive impact on the area.
This includes improving the appearance of the vacant building, securing an internal refurbishment and opening a business with a focus on healthy food.
The statement adds: “The proposed restaurant will provide a family-friendly dining experience with family seating areas, providing healthy grilled food, as part of the new healthy style of living, something which is limited in the area and would be very successful.”
Under planning conditions, works must start within three years.