Former bank to be transformed into bar three years after closure

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A former bank is to be transformed into a new bar, three years after it closed down.

The old Natwest bank on Brows Lane in Formby was granted permission to be turned into a bar by Sefton Council this week.

It had remained empty for the last three years after shutting its doors on October 9, 2017.

The Formby branch was one of six Natwest banks to close in Merseyside in 2017, with branches in Huyton, Kirkby, Liverpool One, Liverpool University and Heswall all closing too.

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But Formby residents will see it transformed into a new drinking venue with developers vowing to keep the mock-Tudor exterior which makes the building unique.

Plans also include for the first floor of the building to be turned into an office space and also for a new seating area outside the bar for people to enjoy.

However there was one unhappy resident who opposed the new plans and said there were "too many bars and restaurants in Formby now."

But despite this, documents on Sefton Council's website said the new pub would offer "a positive contribution to the overall viability and vitality of the centre."

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According to a planning officer report the property dates from the early quarter of 20th century with "attractive" mock timber detailing, a jettied first floor, brickwork with original windows and timber doors to the ground floor.

The report said: "It is the cumulative impact of these historic features which give the building its special interest and important contribution to the streetscene."

It went on to say the owners of the new bar had negotiated with the council to make sure that new features of the venue such as doors and windows incorporated with the detail which gives "the building its interest and contribution to the wider area."

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The bar was approved subject to conditions including not opening outside the hours of 9am – 12am Monday to Sunday including Bank Holidays.

The outdoor seating area should only be used between 9am – 9pm Monday to Sunday.

Other drinking establishments in the immediate area include Riva Lounge and Woodwards Wine Bar.

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