PLANS to convert a former Winton bank into a café and flats have been submitted.

Abdulrahman Altawalah has applied to BCP Council for permission to redevelop the disused NatWest branch in Wimborne Road.

The bank closed in October 2017 and a statement says no similar replacement business has come forward to use the site.

Should the plans, submitted earlier this month, be approved, the ground floor will be converted into a café with a dedicated children’s play area.

Above it, eight flats would be created from what was used as office space.

“The former use as a bank and offices had ended as a result of a decision to close the branch by NatWest at the same time as they closed many premises nationwide,” a planning statement submitted on behalf of Mr Altawalah says.

“The premises was advertised for financial and commercial uses, however, given the proven difficulties of companies to sustain such premises, it did not appeal to prospective owners or commercial tenants.”

At the time of the closure of the branch, NatWest said there had been a 42 per cent decrease in customers since 2011.

Under the new plans, five of the flats, proposed across the three top floors of the building, would be one-bedroom with the remaining three all having two bedrooms.

Provision is included for five parking spaces – two fewer than currently exist – and a ground floor extension is planned to facilitate the café.

“We believe that these proposals will form a sustainable use for this site,” the statement adds. “This is a popular and well-serviced established residential area close to amenities and facilities.

“We believe the proposed use is sympathetic to the existing building and will be designed with respect to its neighbours.”

Planning officers at BCP Council will consider the application in the coming weeks.