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23rd May 2012

BEAMINSTER: There’s still hope for ATM service

By Paul Crompton 

Hopes of keeping a cash machine in Beaminster have been boosted after a planning application was lodged by HSBC Ltd.

The high street bank lodged the application last week in a bid to keep the ATM in The Square.

The market town has been without a bank since HSBC closed the Beaminster branch on May 10th.

Residents and clubs now have to travel around 12 miles to the nearest bank in Bridport.

The application sets out plans for new external signage and CCTV covering the ATM. 

Removal of all other external signage and the creation of an internal secure room to the rear of has also been outlined.

The now vacant HSBC owned property is a Grade II Listed Building and needs ATM Listed Building Consent.

Councillor Rosemary Beeny said it was vital the application was accepted.

She said: “We are hoping it will go through quickly. You cannot really block or do anything because we have to let it go through.”

It is expected to be heard by Beaminster Town Council planners on June 14th – just one day before the deadline for comments to the district council expires.

But group and organisation leaders say the need for a full banking service in the town remains a priority.

Maggie Warnett, president of the Woman’s Institute and chairman of Raucous Chorus, was one of more than 400 people who signed a petition and protested outside the bank when it closed.

She said: “Keeping the ATM is positive, so at least we will have a cash machine, but losing the bank has been a nuisance because it means we now have to go to Bridport or Crewkerne to bank because most of the money we take in is cash.

“Having the ATM does not offset the fact we have to go somewhere else to pay in cash.

“So I support having the ATM but I’m with everyone else in wanting to have a proper banking service in the town.”

The application is currently undetermined and comments are invited by West Dorset District Council before June 15th 2012

Any comments on the application can be made by visiting the www.dorsetforyou.com/planningapplications

Any comments after this date may still be considered providing a decision has not been made. 

Please quote reference number 1/D/12/000766.

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