ARTISAN bakery chain GAIL's is still interested in opening a shop and café in Knutsford despite plans for one site falling through.

A planning application submitted last year to convert the former La Boutique d'Or premises at 43-45 King Street are being withdrawn and replaced with a proposal for an alternate site.

The popular bakery is now planning to transform the former HSBC bank, at the corner of Princess Street and Regent Street, following its closure.

Should these latest plans be approved, some alterations would be made to the building's exterior.

These include: the creation of a timber decking outdoor seating area; removal of the ATM and creation of a new access door in Princess Street; installation of a new fire escape door to the rear; and the installation of wall-mounted lights, a hand-painted sign and extraction grilles.

A covering letter, prepared by Planning Potential on behalf of the applicants, says: "These proposals seeking external alterations to facilitate GAIL’s occupation of the site represent a positive enhancement to a currently vacant unit forming part of Knutsford town centre’s primary shopping area.

"The proposed use and works would be entirely in accordance with national policy guidance and the East Cheshire development plan.

"The proposed alterations to the building are entirely complimentary to the building, its commercial surroundings and situation within the Knutsford conservation area.

Knutsford Guardian: The former HSBC bank in KnutsfordThe former HSBC bank in Knutsford (Image: Google)

"The planned decking area seeks to provide a levelled area in order to allow them to safely place outdoor seating outside the premises.

"This area will be contained by a timber fence and will be located behind existing road signs and street furniture, which means the outdoor seating does not cover with public highway.

"This will ensure no negligible impact on either pedestrian thoroughfare or vehicles using Princess Street or Regent Street.

"These proposals are in-keeping with its commercial surroundings and would result in no major changes to the buildings existing structure, no result in the use of materials not currently utilised on the host building or others within the conservation area."

A GAIL's spokeswoman added: "We’re really excited as we look forward to expanding to the North West this year.

"We’re in the midst of looking at a few different properties at the moment and we will continue to have conversations with the neighbourhoods surrounding these areas and will share more information when we have confirmation."

To view the plans, search reference 23/1884M on the council's online planning portal.