Dalkeith shop front “traditional” changes dismissed

Stock photo of the bank.
Stock photo of the bank.

Calls for Santander to consider more “traditional” changes to the shop front of one of their branches were dismissed as undesirable by the company.

The bank has been given planning permission to update the look of its branch on Dalkeith High Street.

However their  decision not to take onboard calls for a “sympathetic” approach to changes was described as “disappointing” by Midlothian Council’s planners who had urged Santander to rethink their plans.

In an email to the bank, planners acknowledged efforts to improve shop fronts on the High Street but urged them to consider a more traditional approach.

They said: “The council is dedicated to making positive changes and have taken the opportunity to do this when application to alter shop fronts have been submitted.

“The replacement of the existing shop frontage is welcomed as this will improve the appearance of the building, however there is an opportunity to create a more traditional frontage which would further enhance the area.”

They even emailed the bank’s property team a sketch of what they believed could be achieved in the Dalkeith House and Park conservation area where the bank sits.

However their vision was dismissed by Santander who pointed out rival businesses had modernised.

They said: “The replacement of the existing shop frontage is proposed as an accessible and identifiable Santander branch .

“With competitors nearby having taken a similar approach, a more traditional frontage is moving away from our design and would not give the desired shop front to Santander.”

Granting planning permission for the new shop front which will have a central entrance door and full length windows, planning officers could not hide their disappointment.

They said: “Although it is disappointing that the applicants do not wish to proceed with a more traditional approach, the proposed alterations will improve the appearance of the shop front as compared to the existing frontage, which appears someone dated.”