Objections to convert Old Harlow bank into restaurant

Planning / Thu 6th Oct 2022 at 09:58am

PLANS to convert an OId Harlow bank into a restaurant has received a number of objections.

The proposals are set to be discussed at the next Harlow Council planning committee meeting on Wednesday October 11th.


The application site relates to Bank House, a Grade II listed building located within a
residential/commercial area of the Old Harlow Conservation Area.

The building is of red brick design, with eaves banded of moulded timber with mutules and leaded top.

It is located within a prominent location and is alongside other businesses and financial institutions within an established town centre community. It is situated in the Old Harlow Conservation Area.

Details of the Proposal

The application seeks Listed Building Consent for a number of internal works, including the
demolition/alteration of walls. The walls proposed for demolition were installed to facilitate
the use of the bank, including bank storage.

The proposal description has been amended to reflect the fact the change of use from the
now revoked Class A2 (Financial and Professional Services) to Class E (Commercial,
Business and Service) use would fall within permitted development and would thus not
require planning permission.


Three objections were received in regard to the proposal. As the consultation on this
application included the change of use to restaurant the comments received were mainly at
the principle of the change of use and associated impact. Planning Permission is now only
being sought for the external flue and the relevant comments are:

Need: Plenty of other food establishments nearby, including cafes, restaurants and public
houses. We need a bank back – ask business and residence.

Appearance: The generally accepted definition of a conservation area seems to be ‘an area
of special architectural or historic interest the character of which is considered worthy of

preservation or enhancement’ How can the placement of another fast-food establishment
into a Grade ll listed building in any way preserves let alone enhance the Conservation


Amenity: The windows overlook properties (north side) – should have frosted glass to
maintain privacy.

Parking: Parking restrictions must be vigorously enforced along Station Road. The
application details just 10 parking spaces in the rear car park. With staff and customers, this
will be inadequate. Concerns vehicles will park along Station Road on pavements,
obstructing the driveways of neighbouring residential properties. Anti-ram bollards further
restrict parking availability. Most deliveries are undertaken by scooter or motorcycle, these
vehicles would need access to the kitchen area and it’s likely they will be tempted to use the
busy public footpath that runs to the South of Bank House. This will be potentially dangerous
for pedestrians. These scooters will be flying down Station Rd, engines screaming, 12 hours
a day 7 days a week

Drainage: Bank House shares drainage with both houses 30 and 30a Station Rd. This has
caused countless problems for the two houses over the years and has been brought about
because of tree root ingress to the pipe that runs to the main sewer under the road. The
problem is the massive Sycamore tree located on the front left side of the plot that has been
neglected for years. To sanction a COU to a fast food restaurant will only exacerbate the
problem of blockages as these types of establishment are renown for causing problems due
to the use of oils/fats in the cooking process.

Vermin: Vermin is always an issue where food is being stored and waste food left outside.

Smell: The smell of cooking seems to have been thought of but the flats to the South of Bank
House will be very close.

Noise: The proposed opening hours until 11 pm at night will make it one of the last, if not the
last place to eat in the Old Town. When people leave the pubs it’s very likely they will walk
round the corner for a burger or some chips and then congregate outside making noise and
litter. This could be a cause of real torment for elderly residents. What happens when
permission is sought for an outside terrace and a music licence. The present substantial
hedges at present are offering a natural barrier so should be left but tidied up somewhat.

Officer comment: Only material planning considerations can be taken into consideration in
the assessment of this application. Matters in relation to drainage would be dealt under
separate building regulations.

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10 Comments for Objections to convert Old Harlow bank into restaurant:

2022-10-06 11:06:40

I think we have enough eating places in the old town and I also believe they will be a parking problem

2022-10-06 11:11:01

Stuart, stop being an old boring bastard you miserable old man. You’re probably one of the ones that moved near a pub and complains that there is a pub there. Re evaluate your life you miserable man.

geoff turner
2022-10-06 11:48:51

they didn't object when they turned victoria hall into a theatre or object about the parking then even though they dont use the two car parks in the old town. they also congregate outside victoria hall and the snooker club a lot later then 11pm making noise and dropping litter in st johns avenue so i dont see what the difference is

2022-10-06 13:55:58

Is it a restaurant or a take away? If a restaurant, why object? Never going to be a Bank again, that is just a fantasy.

Defund politics
2022-10-06 14:44:50

Why don't they split it in half then there can be 2 restaurants.

2022-10-06 15:06:19

Was that where Barclays used to be?...I used it at least twice!!

2022-10-07 15:05:49

No need for people to be rude when commenting on someones opinion, we are all in- titled to make our comments without being lnsulted.

2022-10-07 18:45:19

Its not really a change of use. The bank had been cooking the books for years!

2022-10-08 14:17:48

Enough restaurants in the area no parking and the smell from food old harlow needs a bank back

Lesley Viner
2023-04-18 18:08:16

I live in Faircoats the Building next to the Barclays building! People will use our forecourt for parking! I can't park outside my own flat now as People are parking to go to Zens ,We already have to many takeaway in the old town

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