As feared, when the town’s last bank HSBC shut its doors last year, the only outdoor ATM – located in the Town Hall forecourt – is to be removed a few weeks before the end of their lease in September. The ATM made the national papers as being the lowest to the ground.
Coincidently, Tesco is understood to be putting in a new planning application for an ATM which is accessible from the outside (they already have an ATM inside). This website understands that two locations are being considered: in the car park, or in the wall next to the sliding entrance door.
Separately, a new concrete ramp outside the Tesco, on the newly paved Winchester St came in for criticism by the town and borough councillors at last night’s full Town Council meeting.
Both ATM locations are in the conservation area and the Town Hall is a listed building. The original approval for the HSBC ATM required that the building be put back to its original form if the ATM is removed – the stones and brickwork were to have been kept. Tesco withdrew its original planning application and is submitting a new one, after concerns were raised by the B&DBC conservation officer.
The Town Hall trustees (the Town Council are the trustees of the building which is run as a registered charity) do not know whether HSBC plan on removing the large, heavy safe that is inside the former bank. Without the space cleared, the reuse of the area for a new business or meeting area would be restricted.
There was a campaign to try and save the HSBC bank, led by ex-Councillor Vince Bradbury who was the town’s mayor at the time – see SAVE WHITCHURCH BANK. Information about the withdrawn Tesco ATM application is HERE.