Mystery surrounds the future of a Lloyds bank branch in a west Suffolk town after a planning application to transform it into a restaurant or coffee shop was submitted to the district council.  

The Carolgate Friendly Society is seeking a lawful development certificate from West Suffolk Council for the change of use of Lloyds Bank at 48 High Street in Newmarket.

In an application submitted on February 5, the Mayfair-based company has proposed to transform the bank into a restaurant/coffee shop.

The application form submitted to West Suffolk Council states: "As the bank will shortly be closing and vacating the property the landlord requires the flexibility to market the property to a broader range of retailers." 

No further details on the proposed conversion of the property are available yet on West Suffolk Council's online planning portal, apart from a block plan detailing the outline of the site at 48 High Street.

Lloyds said customers and staff working at the branch "would be the first to know" if plans to change the use of the building were submitted.

A Lloyds spokesman said: "We haven't made any announcements about the Newmarket Lloyds Bank branch and, if anything were to change, our colleagues, customers and the local community would be the first to know." 

Newmarket has lost several banks in recent years, including Santander in May 2019, HSBC in September 2022 and Barclays in June 2023. 

Remaining banks include Lloyds and NatWest, as well as a branch of building society Nationwide. 

Last week, the Darlington and Stockton Times reported that permission is also being sought by The Carolgate Friendly Society for a certificate of lawfulness to change a Barclays Bank in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, which is already due to close, into a restaurant or coffee shop.