Shops and nine flats lined up for va­cated Bar­clays site

Plans sub­mit­ted by Thames House Prop­erty fol­low­ing spec­u­la­tion over fate of build­ing

Staines Informer - - FRONT PAGE - Char­lotte Tal­bot

THE former Bar­clays Bank build­ing in Shep­per­ton is to be turned into homes and shops, bring­ing to an end more than two years of un­cer­tainty.

Plans for the High Street build­ing have been sub­mit­ted by Thames House Prop­erty to Spelthorne’s plan­ning de­part­ment for a change of use from of­fices and bank, to com­mer­cial units at ground level.

The ap­pli­ca­tion seeks plan­ning per­mis­sion for res­i­den­tial flats above the busi­ness units plus a new sec­ond floor built with bal­conies, and a ground floor ex­ten­sion.

There would be eight onebed flats, and one with two bed­rooms.

The bank, which is be­tween the li­brary and vil­lage hall, closed in Septem­ber 2014 af­ter 86 years in the High Street. Cus­tomers were told the news at the end of Au­gust that year via let­ters, with the bank stat­ing that not enough peo­ple were us­ing the branch.

The fate of the build­ing has been much dis­cussed over the years, with spec­u­la­tion about a restau­rant, doctors’ surgery, a su­per­mar­ket and even a branch of Ikea.

Back in March last year, a sign even ap­peared on the front of the build­ing ad­ver­tis­ing that Ital­ian restau­rant chain Car­luc­cio’s would soon be set­ting up shop, al­though it was later re­vealed by the com­pany to be a fake.

Jo Hornsby, chair­man of Shep­per­ton and District Busi­ness Com­mu­nity, is keen to see the site used, as long as the new com­mer­cial ten­ants are the right fit for the street.

“It’s hor­ri­ble to see it empty, es­pe­cially as it’s such a prom­i­nent build­ing,” said Mrs Hornsby, who runs Daisy Chain florists with her mum Wendy Thomson. “It’s nice to see the shops full, rather than boarded up.

“It would be good to see

124 Church Street, Staines Upon Thames, TW18 4ZB 01784 454240 • the­

some­thing move in that we haven’t al­ready got in the High Street.

“There’s enough char­ity shops and it would be nice to have some­thing to bring peo­ple into Shep­per­ton.

“We are truly a ‘shop lo­cal’ area and want to keep the high street alive. Some­thing like a nice Ital­ian deli could be good.

“For the flats, as long as they are done nicely and prop­erly then it will be good for the cen­tre.”

Richard He­witt, chair­man of Shep­per­ton Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion, said the re­cent plans he had seen looked ‘a bit over­pow­er­ing’ for the site.

“They are look­ing to put more flats at the back of the build­ing,” he said. “Some of the stu­dio flats look very small and the build­ing looks a bit over­bear­ing.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what type of re­tail is go­ing to go in there too. We have got Bud­gens op­po­site, Co-op nearby and M&S too.

“You could ar­gue that there’s enough food shops. There’s also a ladies dress shop and a lot of char­ity shops, but there’s not many cloth­ing shops for men.

“All the shops are find­ing it a bit dif­fi­cul­ties at the mo­ment and foot­fall seems to be suf­fer­ing.”

Terry Hab­good HI127913

There has been much spec­u­la­tion since Bar­clays Bank va­cated its Shep­per­ton site in Septem­ber 2014 af­ter 86 years .

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