Petworth residents views sought as council plans to buy former Natwest building

Petworth residents views are being sought after the town council decided to bid for the former Natwest bank building.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:04 pm

The former Natwest bank site in Market Square is listed with Avison Young for £350,000.

On Thursday (March 18) Petworth councillors resolved to bid for the grade II listed building and is now asking residents of the town for their thoughts on seeking a £600,000 loan to purchase the building and make the necessary improvements.

The plan has been a key priority for the town council following consultations with the community while the town's Neighbourhood Plan was being created.

The former NatWest site in Market Square. Picture via Google Streetview

A previous bid was made for the building but Petworth Town Council (PTC) was outbid and for reasons unknown to the council, the sale did not go ahead.

Councillor Chris Kemp said: "We thought we had lost the opportunity but it seems that the opportunity has come back around. Somebody outbid us last time so now we have grabbed the opportunity by the horns.

"We are consulting with the community because, like with all these things, we are spending public money."

Now, cllr Kemp added, it is a case of 'watch this space'.

Should the plan be successful, the town council would also aim to move its office from the first floor of the Old Bakery and into the bank 'where all the town's residents can visit us'.

Buying the property with a loan would result in a 30p-per-week increase to the precept on a band D property in the parish of Petworth, a spokesman said.