Former Littlehampton bank could be converted into 23-bed HMO and four new shops

Plans for the former Barclays in Littlehampton will be discussed next week.
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The branch at 71 High Street closed its doors in June 2021 due to ‘dwindling customer numbers’.

When it closed, it had less than 100 regular customers.

Brighton based developer Target Five Property Consultants bought the building a month later.

The former Barclays bank branch in LittlehamptonThe former Barclays bank branch in Littlehampton
The former Barclays bank branch in Littlehampton
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It now plans to add an extension and convert the upper floors into a HMO – or house in multiple occupancy.

“This is a big opportunity,” the company said, “We are looking at developing two HMOs above, retaining and refurbishing the commercial element and potentially looking at the additional land.”

A planning application for a 23 bed HMO and four shops below has been submitted to Arun District Council and will be discussed by its Planning Committee on Wednesday (20 July).

There would be an extension to the current building on the northern side which would also create a new entrance and stairwell.

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Plans show 11 HMO rooms on the first floor and 12 on the second floor.

They would have private bathrooms, storage space, and access to a communal terrace.

There is no parking proposed.

Littlehampton Town Council objected to the plans, citing overdevelopment and a lack of parking, but it welcomed new commercial units.

The Littlehampton Society also objected, as did four members of the public.

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West Sussex County Council said a development like this would usually create demand for 34 parking spaces, but added that it is in a town centre location with overnight parking available.

Plans also show 42 cycle spaces.

The council’s conservation officer raised concerns about the proposed extension as 71 High Street is a building of character, close to other listed buildings and the East Street conservation area.

They concluded there will be harm to the surrounding area but that this would be outweighed by new homes and businesses.

A conservation advisory panel objected to the plans, saying: “The proposal will harm the existing heritage asset and those nearby.”

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Officers have recommended the plans for approval as they would ‘not harm the character of the area’ and solar panels add to the sustainability of the scheme.

The new flats and commercial units will be discussed on Wednesday (July 20).