A bid to convert the floors above and below a former Herefordshire town centre bank has been refused.

The Barclays Bank branch in Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye, at the corner with Hill Street, closed last August.

The plan was to turn the single floor above it into a two-bedroom and a one-bedroom flat, and the basement below it into a single-bedroom flat. The ground floor would have been retained for retail use.

A planned extra flat in the basement had already been dropped from the proposal “as a result of concerns raised through the consultation process” the council planning officer said.


But the bid still foundered on the remaining basement flat and its access to light and ventilation.

Environmental health officer Mary Paske said: “Following the amendments , we still have concerns with the light available to the habitable rooms.”

She called for an assessment against official guidelines “to establish whether there is enough natural light reaching the habitual rooms” – otherwise the basement flat would “very likely be prohibited for use, if it ends up on the private rented market”.

This was accepted by the planning officer, who ruled: “The proposed conversion of the basement area into residential accommodation would result in a sub-standard form of accommodation without adequate natural light or ventilation.

“Insufficient details have been provide to demonstrate that a satisfactory form of residential accommodation can be achieved.”

A plan to turn the upper floors of a neighbouring shop into flats was approved earlier this month.