Former Sunderland bank could be transformed into restaurant and takeaway

A former bank branch in Sunderland could be transformed into a restaurant and takeaway under new proposals lodged with planning bosses.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:48 am

Sunderland City Council’s planning department has received 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.

The unit was previously occupied by Barclays Bank but closed permanently in summer 2020 due to a shift in customer habits towards neighbouring branches and increased use of online and telephone banking.

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The former Barclays Bank branch in Chester Road, Sunderland, could become a restaurant and takeaway.

A design and access statement, prepared for the applicant and submitted to planners, claimed the development would have a positive impact on the area.

This includes improving the appearance of the vacant building externally, securing an internal refurbishment to provide a “modern elegant appearance” and opening a business with a focus on healthy food.

The statement reads: “The ground floor restaurant / takeaway will continue to be economically viable for the local area as it is well populated with a mixed use of buildings, from retail to restaurants in a well populated and city centre location.

“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.

“Being located close to [the] city centre the site is close to many attraction sites and retail businesses.

“The proposal will provide healthy grilled food and dining facilities to Sunderland residents and tourists visiting the city.”

The design and access statement goes on to say: “The changes to the existing building would be very successful in this vicinity which will only add as a positive project to help bring up the surrounding area.

“We feel that all the requirements have been met and give a positive result tothis proposal.”

According to the planning application, a total of 15 employees with a mixture of full-time and part-time staff are also proposed at the restaurant.

A final decision on the change of use is expected by early November 2021.

For more information on the application or to track its progress, visit online-applications.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference: 21/02003/FUL