Lot 97


The Former NatWest Bank, 7 Fore Street, Chard, Somerset, TA20 1PJ
The Former NatWest Bank, 7 Fore Street, Chard, Somerset, TA20 1PJ
Sold £211,000

A classic residential and commercial re-development opportunity with an almost unique ‘twist’.

At first glance it is a three storey prime town centre building that has the making for a number of flats and a shop or two having land to the rear where there is potential for a new-build scheme, along with a back access, parking and garaging. However, almost unbelievably at the northern end of the property, underneath a huge protective bund, is a vast underground vault that is bigger at 388.63 sq.m. (4,000 sq.ft.) or so (according to the Valuation Office) than the whole of the three storey former bank!

Here legend has it that the Bank of England stored vital documents and maybe banknotes during World War II alongside the Crown Jewels. How much truth lies in either tale is unknown but on the basis that enemy aircraft knew where Threadneedle Street and the Tower of London were but had probably never heard of 7 Fore Street, Chard, it might just be true and thereby explain this amazing combined ‘above and below’ ground feat of building and engineering.

Whatever the past realities are, today the property as a whole offers a diverse array of sub-division and new-build as well as both normal and extraordinary conversion opportunities, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.

Ground Floor

Formerly providing public and cashiers' areas with back office space, information and enquiries area, interview rooms, further office, rear hallway, stores, male and female W.C. facilities, book room and strong room.

First Floor

Staff room, large office, various stores and W.C. facilities.

Second Floor

Staff games room at half landing, stairs to further landing and door to former manager’s flat (hallway, former bathroom, kitchen/living room, sitting room, large store with rooflight, inner lobby, W.C. and large boiler room with window to rear.)


Immediately to the rear of the main building is a sizeable area of courtyard space from where a path leads through to a spacious mostly lawned and walled garden. At the far of this will be found the enormous bund, built-in to which are doorways leading to staircases down to the vast underground vault. Back outside again, a path and doorway lead to the very rear of the property where lies garaging and off-street parking for a number of vehicles.

Local Planning Authority

South Somerset District Council: Tel: 01935 462462. Website: southsomerset.gov.uk.

Auctioneer’s Note

For information relating to the rateable value and other available data go to www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates and enter the postcode TA20 1PH into the appropriate search field.

Freehold with Vacant Possession


All lots are sold subject to the Common Auction Conditions and Special Conditions of Sale (unless varied by the Sellers Solicitors), together with the Addendum, which will be available on Auction Day.

* Price Information

Guides are provided as an indication of each Seller’s minimum expectation. They are not necessarily figures at which a property will sell for and may change at any time prior to Auction. Unless stated otherwise, each Lot will be offered subject to a reserve (a figure below which the Auctioneer cannot sell the Lot during the Auction).

We expect the reserve will be set within the guide range or no more than 10% above a single figure guide. Please check our website regularly at cliveemson.co.uk, or contact us on 01622 608400, in order to stay fully informed with the up-to-date information.

Additional Fees

An Administration fee and Other non-optional fees may also be payable in addition to the bid price. All lots are offered subject to the Common Auction Conditions and Special Conditions of Sale or Revised Special Conditions of Sale (as applicable) and may include the repayment of search and other fees and or costs payable by the buyer.

All buyers are advised to inspect all available legal documentation prior to bidding and will be deemed to fully understand what they may be liable for if they are successful in purchasing. This should also include Stamp Duty, Land Registry fees and VAT which may become payable on completion in line with any property transaction, whether it is by auction or private treaty. If, as a buyer, you are in doubt you should seek advice from your own professional advisors. For more information on fees please go to cliveemson.co.uk/buyers-fees/