A PLANNING application has been submitted to convert a former bank in Okehampton into two flats.

The applicant, Ms Gemma Bartlett, has lodged the application 1836/23/FUL, intended to transform the former NatWest bank on Fore Street into two flats to be let out for commercial use, under company name .Dartmoor Great Stays.

According to the design and access statement, Ms Bartlett purchased the property following pre-application advice having previously developed the adjoining property (The Plume of Feathers).

Architects state in supporting documentation that such an approach creates ‘much-needed’ town centre accommodation (with parking) and ‘maintains the retail element of the high street’ with the same approach having been used for the bank.

Architects note that the building has remained unoccupied for a considerable period ‘at a time when accommodation within Okehampton is in great demand.’

Following its purchase, a commercial tenant was found to use the ground floor areas as acomputer and games centre (1967/21/FUL).

The building to the rear of the bank (a former mountain rescue centre) was given permission for change of use to residential (3578/21/FUL) soon afterwards.

The remaining area within the building that currently remains unoccupied is the first-floor accommodation above the bank, set up as the welfare facilities that were associated with the bank and secure stores. This application seeks consent to change the use of this area to two flats: one two-bedroom flat and one single bedroom flat.

The rear of the property has been extended over time and a large safe built on the ground floor. A large flat roof area exists, however this would need to be used as a fire escape route from one of the flats.

Comments are welcome on the application by July 13, which can be accessed via the planning section of the West Devon Borough Council website.

Also in planning applications this week, a Tavistock business owner has applied to the borough council to change use of a commercial flat.

Mr P Tugwell of Emlin Estates, Deer Park Road, is seeking to convert a ground floor flat into offices at Pixon Villas on Pixon Lane (1997/23/FUL).

The Habitats Regulation Assessment lists the only aspect to be potentially damaging being increased visitor and recreational pressure from new residents who would come with the proposed development.

To view rhis application, use the following web link: https://shorturl.at/bqGR1