Don’t bank on it: Plans change for Cowes premises

A former bank on Cowes High Street could be turned into a house — after no buyers came forward to turn it into a shop or restaurant.

Closed in January 2017, the HSBC building is now the subject of a planning application to give the empty property a new lease of life — turning it into a four-bedroom house.

In pre-planning advice, the Isle of Wight Council’s planning officers said they would rather the site be turned into a restaurant but planning agents, Modh Design, said their client was unable to sell the premises on, to private entrepreneurs or franchises for a considerable length of time.

According to plans, original external features of the building, which is next to a public slipway, will be retained and restored with extensions added to the top and rear of the property.

There would be a snug, study and a rooftop garden, complete with a loft sitting area and kitchenette.

The master bedroom would have a balcony facing out towards the River Medina and Solent, with folding glass doors.

Planning agents said: “The scheme ensures the preservation of a predominant building, with cultural, historical context, whereby the sensitive regeneration to a residential property will safeguard the longevity of the structure for the future.

“The design is sensitive, considered and logical, which will have no adverse effect on the surrounding context, or detrimental impact on the fabric of the building.”

The building is in a flood risk area, flood zone three, but no bedrooms will be on the ground floor to protect people in the emergency event of flooding.

Comments on the application (20/00782/FUL) can be made until June 21.