Dilapidated bank left unused for more than 10 years set for new lease of life as homes

For more than a decade residents in a village have had to look at a disused bank, deteriorating through years of neglect.

Wes Fellows and Pete Snowdon's Shropshire Design company has bought the long-disused Barclays bank building in Albrighton
Wes Fellows and Pete Snowdon's Shropshire Design company has bought the long-disused Barclays bank building in Albrighton

However, that should soon change after it was bought at auction by a company that plans to give it a new lease of life.

Shropshire Design, run by Pete Snowdon and Wes Fellows, has taken over the former Barclays Bank in Station Road, Albrighton, and plans to convert the building into new town houses.

The bank has stood empty for more than 10 years, with a previous plan in 2011 to turn the building into flats failing to come to fruition.

After buying the building shortly before Christmas, Pete and Wes have spent the last few weeks working on their plans, with an original idea of converting at least part of the building into a studio, office and photography space being put to one side once they saw that work had been done to convert it into homes by the previous owner.

The bank has not served a customer for more than a decade

Further conversations with landlords, who said they were struggling to fill units in the village at market rate, led them to focus on a housing plan.

"Someone said no more beauty shops, takeaways or hairdressers," Pete said.

They are now working on designs for three affordable town houses, with their own front doors and gardens, as opposed to the flats plan previously proposed.

"The previous plans would not meet modern fire regulations," added Pete. "We want to create some mews-type properties that would enhance the village feel.

Wes and Pete plan to bring the long-disused bank back to life by converting it into town houses

"We want to keep the frontage. And one quaint idea, we'd like to call it 'The Old Bank'.

"The original plan was to get rid of the frontage. We plan to recreate a frontage that looks like a bank, but that's just a facade."

The pair hope work will get under way in late spring, adding: "The longer it sits there the more it becomes dilapidated."

Work to convert the building into homes was started by a previous owner, but never completed

Pete and Wes have said they do not know much about the history of the building, which has a barn attached at the rear. They believe it was originally a grain store, before being used as a vault by Barclays.

Anyone with information can get in touch at help@shropshire.design

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