PLANS to bulldoze a former Hampshire bank and replace it with a new building containing nine flats could be scrapped.

Civic chiefs are studying an alternative proposal to retain the ground floor of the building and provide three flats on the first floor.

The former NatWest branch in Commercial Road, Totton, has been closed since 2017, when part of the roof collapsed after a period of torrential rain.

Last year Grainrent was given planning permission to redevelop the site.

New Forest District Council approved proposals for a three-storey building containing nine flats on the first and second storeys and a commercial unit on the ground floor.

Totton and Eling Town Council had supported the proposal, despite saying it “lacked the landmark design” such an important site deserved.

It added: “Although it is far from the improved commercial frontage that could be achieved, it is still an improvement on the current structure and empty premises.

“The first and second floor residential units have been well designed and will provide small quality flats.

“There are however concerns about the potential loss of several staff parking spaces and also the cumulative impact that continued development with no allocated parking will have on parking in the town centre.”

The former bank occupies the south-eastern corner of Totton Precinct, which was built in the 1960s.

A report produced by district council planning officers said the proposed development would provide much-needed flats in the town centre as well as replacing a building which is “fairly unattractive and in poor condition”.

It added: “The town centre shops and commercial uses will benefit from more spending by additional people living in the area."

Now Grainrent has submitted proposals to retain the existing building and provide three one-bedroom flats on the first floor. The commercial unit on the ground floor would again be retained.

Members of Totton and Eling Town Council are meeting on Wednesday and are being urged to recommend the district council to support the plan.

A report produced by planning officers says the smaller number of homes now being proposed is preferable to the previously approved scheme.


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