Planning Committee Recommends Refusal of Nationwide Cash Point

The Henley Town Council Planning Committee have recommended refusal of a proposed ATM installation outside the Nationwide building in Market Place.

The refusal was made due to the proposed ATM’s implications on the architectural integrity of the Grade II listed building within the conservation area. The committee agreed that the installation would damage the symmetrical historic façade of the prominent building in the Market Place, failing to conserve or enhance its appearance.

The proposed changes would block off about a third of the windows and raise them. Changes to the doorways would also have to be made.

Councillor Plant expressed reservations about the proposed design, He said, “They tried, but nonetheless it’s still obliterating the building. They’ve got to be able to put that in the door or something that doesn’t do as much damage to the actual structure. So as much as I agree with their sentiment, unless they can come back with a far more sympathetic design it’s a no.”

Councillor Rob Romans echoed similar sentiments, acknowledging the need for an ATM while advocating for a more considerate design approach. He stated, “I think we’re between the devil and the deep blue sea with this one […] We also need an ATM, but I’m half minded to say, please go back and make various changes and then you can go ahead and do it.”

Councillor Gavin Jackson said, “I fully support having a cash point machine in the centre of town; we need more cash point machines. Cutting away the sill line of a building a town square is exactly the wrong thing, the wrong approach to do that. It needs to be in the doorway and there are plenty of people that have done that previously.”

Nationwide already provides access to a cashpoint inside their branch. A spokesperson for Nationwide said, “Access to cash is really important and that is why we have submitted plans for an external ATM at our Henley-on-Thames branch. We think customers should have choice in how they bank with us. As a result, we have also renewed our promise that anywhere we have a branch we will stay until at least 2028. We hope that reassures all our customers and those in Henley-on-Thames.”

Currently, there is only one external cashpoint in the town centre (outside Sainsbury’s Local), following the closure of HSBC in August 2023, Nat West in February 2023, Barclays on Hart St in March 2022, and Lloyds Bank in October 2021.

You can see the proposed plan below and full details of the application here 

1 comment
  1. JB says:

    Nothing wrong with that Nationwide BS cash machine design. This is a case of some being over-sensitive. If it were a Grade I listed building, I might have had some sympathy, but it isn’t. The Chinese would have had a cash machine installed there within two weeks of the last bank closing. Just don’t be surprised when there is a queue the length of Bell Street for the Sainsbury’s machine during the regattas. And it isn’t Sainsbury’s fault when the machine crashes due to getting hammered.

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