New plans to demolish the bank on Bristol’s main road have sparked concern from residents

The owner of a former iconic Bristol bank which has become a roofless blight over the past ten years has again asked council planners if he can demolish it – or demolish most of it and leave the building’s facade intact.

But local residents and councilors say they are concerned the old Edwardian bank building in Bishopston could be left to “fall down” anyway, with dozens of objections to two different planning applications submitted by the owner.

In March, Bristol Live revealed that council planners had refused permission for building owner Omid Jalil’s plan to build a six-storey block of flats on the site of the prominent 110-year-old bank building on Gloucester Road. Now, Mr. Jalil is back with two slightly different apps.

Read more: Landmark Gloucester Road bank building can’t be demolished rules planners

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The first was submitted by Mr. Jalil in mid-April. It applied to Bristol City Council for permission to demolish the old bank building, with the frontage facing Gloucester Road and Longmead Avenue partially retained. Then, last week, Mr Jalil submitted a second planning application, which asked whether prior notice was required for the complete demolition of the bank.

That would seem unlikely given that the main reason council planners gave in March for refusing the six-storey flats plan was that the building itself was listed as a ‘local historic asset’, even unless officially listed by Historic England.

The building itself was most recently an office for a recruitment firm, but has been empty for more than ten years. Mr Jalil’s original plan to convert the building into nine luxury apartments above a cafe was approved and work began in 2019, but was struck by Covid a year later. The roof was knocked off and it has been a shell of a building ever since, creating an eyesore in a prominent location on Gloucester Road.

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