TWO "highly regarded" London chefs who pulled plans to open a restaurant and wine bar in former Barclays bank on the Herefordshire border have been told they can turn the building into a house.

James and Emma Faulks, who have worked in the capital for the last 20 years, including at their own restaurant for the last 10, recently moved to the Hay-on-Wye area with their young family.

A planning application sent to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority revealed the pair wanted to turn the old Barclays bank in Broad Street into a new restaurant – but the application was withdrawn and now new plans have been given the go-ahead.


They said phosphate guidance to combat the river Wye problems made a restaurant for the Grade II-Listed building unviable.

They instead wanted to turn it into a home, with their plans aiming to stop the building from falling into disrepair.

A design and access statement with the planning permission, and listed building consent, said Mr and Mrs Faulks want to change the use of the old bank, with an independent flat above, to a single house.

Consultants working on the scheme said the idea was an opportunity to enhance the old bank which, without a new use, could "quickly fall into disrepair".


They said: "The investment will ensure the defining character and appearance is maintained for current and future generations.

"The proposed changes and materials used a successful balance between making the buildings function sustainably and preserving the historic form and original built fabric."

Materials used for the conversion would be largely the same as existing, apart from a new crittal door instead of painted timber.

Planning officer Lisa Williams said plans were to create a four-bed home across two floors.

The ground floor of the property will be made up of an open plan kitchen, dining and living room with a utility/boot room and ground floor toilet.

The existing staircase will remain in place, and at first-floor level it is proposed to create two additional bedrooms and a family bathroom. The existing shower room will form an en-suite for the master bedroom.

Hay Town Council did not oppose the plans, but told planners it didn't want the home being used as a holiday let.

Alan Southerby, of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, granted planning permission and listed building consent.