Former site of Royal Bank of Scotland Ipswich could be turned into flats

The former Royal Bank of Scotland in Princes Street, Ipswich

The former Royal Bank of Scotland in Princes Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant/Charlotte McLaughlin

The former premises of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Ipswich could be turned into eight flats in the town. 

There has been a bank on 8-10 Prince Street, since the 1970s, when it was Natwest - which became RBS in the 2000s.

The Royal Bank of Scotland in 2017

The Royal Bank of Scotland in 2017 - Credit: Google Street View

But since the RBS closed in 2018, along with 161 other branches, resulting in almost 800 job losses in England, the site has been vacant in the town. 

Planning has now been submitted to turn the first and second floors of the bank's offices, into eight flats with an extension to the second floor and a new third floor. 

The ground floor would stay, according to Ipswich architects Barefoot & Gilles, for commercial use, if a suitable tenant is found.

There is a proposal to add a floor to the building at 8-10 Princes Street, Ipswich

There is a proposal to add a floor to the building at 8-10 Princes Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant/Charlotte McLaughlin

"The site is just outside the main shopping area and could attract tenants ranging from health and welfare to leisure and possibly retail," Barefoot & Gilles note in their application. 

"With careful thought and planning the conversion of office premises to other uses will enable these buildings to promote social interaction and encourage the re-population and vitalisation of town centres."

A heritage statement was also submitted as part of the April 16 planning application as the Coolbergen Properties Ltd-owned site is in the town’s central conservation area.

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Barefoot & Gilles claim it will be "cleaned and repaired" if they add another floor "but the proposed alterations will not affect the building itself as a heritage asset".

The former Royal Bank of Scotland in Princes Street, Ipswich

The former Royal Bank of Scotland in Princes Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant/Charlotte McLaughlin

"The proposals will bring a viable use to an otherwise vacant building.

"[And] will cause little or no harm to the heritage asset as the building is to be preserved and an alternative viable use found to ensure its future preservation.

"The single-storey roof extension has been set back so as to retain the visual strength and emphasis of the existing structure.

"The set-back of the proposed extension provides both visually attractive high-level amenity space and echoes the setback of the host building."

Rights and Humanity also had their offices on Princes Street, Ipswich

Rights and Humanity also had their offices on Princes Street, Ipswich - Credit: Archant/Charlotte McLaughlin

The Princes Street offices also used to be home to the human rights organisation, Rights and Humanity, in which the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Cherie Blair were involved.

You can comment before May 7 on the planning application by going to planning.ipswich.gov.uk and searching for '21/00394/FUL'.

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