1 Station Approach in Virginia Water is known to many as the old Barclays Bank. Many were saddened when the bank closed its branch last year.
Late last year, planning applications, made by Sainsbury’s in connection with their proposal to take over the lease, were withdrawn in the face of local opposition, with particular concerns about plans to erect a semi-industrial air-conditioning plant outside the building. The building is an original Tarrant built around 1923, and is of significant local architectural and historic interest in the village of Virginia Water, justifying its status as locally listed building. It occupies an important and prominent corner position at one of the main entrances to the Wentworth Estate.
New plans (but little changed from last year’s) were submitted to Runnymede Borough Council this summer and the WRA has submitted a letter of objection to these. There have been over 1000 signatures to a local petition. Notwithstanding this, the case officer recommended that the planning applications be approved.
Last night’s planning committee meeting was well attended by Estate and other local residents and local businesses and members of our WRA committee: nevertheless, the planning committee approved the planning permissions.
A big thank you to all of those of you who attended last night. It is important for all of us to make our views known on planning issues as there are local councillors who do not hold our heritage as dear as we may.
And all is not yet lost. There are covenants on the building which were not considered in relation to the planning application and any development application will also have to be considered by the Wentworth Estate Roads Committee. Watch this space….