AN application has been received by Northumberland County Council to turn former Barclays in Corbridge into two apartments.

The proposed development for the two-bedroom apartments, on Market Place, includes upgrading works to the existing shopfront.

Additionally, two new apartment entrances would be incorporated on the front elevation and extensions at the rear of the property to create enlarged living accommodations with terraces and external decking areas. The plans also include a new garden room/studio at the lower ground level to the rear.

Four new spaces for residents' cars would also be created.

In a planning statement, the agents for the applicant said: "The property, once a vital community banking service provided by Barclays, closed its doors on 10th November 2017 due to the increasing trend of customers shifting to online banking and apps.

"The closure marked the initiation of its vacancy, setting the stage for a transformation to address contemporary needs.

 "Since its closure in 2017, the building has stood vacant, becoming an eyesore against the elegant backdrop of Corbridge.

"The prolonged vacancy of the property illustrates the challenges encountered in finding a viable commercial use, justifying the need for a strategic shift towards residential development.

"Policy HOU 1 supports interventions that improve and renovate the county's existing housing stock, encouraging the conversion and change of use of suitable redundant premises. This aligns with the proposed change of use from a vacant shop to residential units.

"Monitoring data indicates that changes of use and conversions have historically contributed approximately 11% of net additional dwelling completions over the past 5-10 years, underscoring the strategic policy objective of bringing long-term empty buildings back into use.

" Considering the indicative distribution of housing needs outlined in the Local Plan, the proposed development aligns with the identified requirement for Corbridge Parish.

"The Strategic Housing Market Assessment indicates a demand for 2- bedroom and 3-bedroom properties, alongside a need for 1-bedroom homes, bungalows, and level-access accommodation for an aging population.

"By repurposing a vacant shop into residential units, the project helps revitalize the area, potentially attracting new residents and businesses. This, in turn, can lead to increased footfall for local businesses and improved community engagement."

Information can be found on 24/00231/FUL