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Seaside town’s Ulster Bank branch to be demolished and rebuilt as apartment block

Independent Councillor Mark Gibbons warned last year that the closure of the bank would be a 'crippling blow' for Warrenpoint

Former Ulster Bank in Warrenpoint

The former Ulster Bank building in Warrenpoint could be demolished to make way for apartments.

Proposals have been drawn up for the future of the Charlotte Street site and submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council by Conrad Developments.

The intention is to demolish the existing property – a two-storey building with rear projection – and build a new three-storey block of apartments in its  place.

It would consist of a total of six one-bedroom units, with associated siteworks also included in the proposals.

The Ulster Bank branch shut last year, one of nine which had been axed, with a change in banking trends being cited to justify its closure.

Independent Councillor Mark Gibbons said at the time the closure would be a “crippling blow” for the County Down seaside town.

The former bank building sits on the corner of Charlotte Street and Duke Street, directly opposite the main square and car park in Warrenpoint.

According to a supporting statement, the old Ulster Bank premises “does not make a material contribution” to the area for a number of reasons, including that it has been “altered over the years insensitively” and has been vacant for almost a year.

And the statement adds: “Anti-social behaviour is common to the existing rear service yard.”

While there would be six apartments, there are no plans to accommodate vehicles on site.

The statement confirms: “Given the number of apartments and the presence of nearby public car parks and on-street parking in close proximity to the development, private car parking is not provided. Servicing is to the rear of the apartments via the existing access onto Duke Street.”

The application, the supporting information insists,”complies with all current relevant planning policy and supplementary planning guidance”.

It concludes: “The design of the replacement building is carefully considered and will enhance the overall character of the town and in terms of design, layout and scale.

“The proposal will create a much-needed, high-quality residential environment that will not harm the interests of neighbouring properties or residents.”

The application is now being advertised with a decision due later in the year.

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