Yet another bank bites the dust in the borough of Waverley.
Just a time when more and more of us are being scammed – away go our bank branches.
Godalming still has two banks. Lloyds and Nat West. But for how much longer? All the eastern villages are leaving for Horsham, where there are real shops and Godalming, where there are lots of coffee and charity shops.
Godalming has lost Barclays. Santander. HSBC. Halifax. Nationwide. Trustee Savings Bank. Now it appears the little Yorkshire Building Society branch office is also to go in a couple of months.
All very sad. Better than Cranleigh, though – they ONLY have Nationwide left, and residents wonder how long before it leaves them devoid of a bank or building society. The residents there are forced to travel to Godalming. Or Horsham.
Lloyds has now become the third banking giant to close its Farnham branch – after plans were submitted to convert its historic Grade II-listed Castle Street premises into a restaurant and “boutique” hotel. The application has been granted: Here’s the decision notice. document 8755339 (1)
Lloyds has had a branch in Farnham for more than a century and has been located at 75 Castle Street since 1919. But it now looks set to follow NatWest and HSBC in departing the town. Staff have told the Waverley Web closure is imminent.
Young & Co’s Brewing plc wants to change its use from a bank to a mixed-use restaurant, bar and seven-room hotel.
Young’s has consent to make alterations to the building’s elevations and the creation of a roof terrace accessed from the first floor of the building, designed for the use of 48 patrons.
The 1930s banking hall will be ripped out and replaced with a bar and fixed seating for bar/restaurant use, but the “openness” of the banking hall would be retained. A new lift and extending an existing lift are also proposed. Its basement will be converted to house staff toilets and an office.
Young’s says its plans for the basement and ground floor are “light touch” and will “celebrate the internal character of the building”. And while it proposes more changes to the first floor to incorporate seven “boutique” hotel rooms, it says the existing first-floor layout is “plain in terms of detail or features of interest”.
The owner told Waverley: “The nature of banking has changed significantly in recent years, and the need for such a large space is no longer prevalent. While the building may not be vacant at present, the low demand for a space of this size, or even a physical bank at all, is increasingly diminishing, and any resistance on the basis of a bank’s loss would simply be delaying an inevitable loss.”
“It’s our intention to keep a branch in Farnham, and we’re waiting for further information following the landlord’s planning application.”