TWO bank branches which closed in the last 18 months could re-open. . . as restaurants.

Both the former TSB branch in Tranent and the ex-Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Prestonpans are on course to become new eateries.

TSB on Tranent High Street closed on June 7 last year after a “careful and full review” by the company.

Plans by Sava Estates Ltd have been lodged with East Lothian Council for the building to be turned into a restaurant and takeaway.

Don Bennett, of Bennett Developments and Consulting, representing the applicant, said no decision had been taken on what kind of restaurant it would be but negotiations were ongoing with “a number of potential end users”.

A planning support statement states: “The proposed restaurant will see this vacant building recycled and converted into a small, quality restaurant which will contribute to the range of services and outlets available to resident and visitor alike.”

David Forrest, chairman of the town’s community council, said: “There are only a couple of restaurants in Tranent and if it was to be turned into a restaurant I can only imagine it would be quite a small one.

“Mainly, I don’t want to be seeing any building sitting empty, especially in a prominent place like the TSB.”

Meanwhile, a new restaurant in the centre of Prestonpans has been mooted – along with two new flats – at the site of the former RBS branch in the town.

The proposal would see the current building there demolished and a taller building constructed in its place.

Edinburgh-based Format Design has lodged a planning application for the new development which, if approved, would have three floors.

The ground floor would be used as a restaurant with two flats above it, each with balconies.

The former single-floor bank building, on the corner of Ayres Wynd and High Street, would be demolished and its replacement built on its original footprint.

In an application to the council for planning permission, the company said: “At present it is a single-storey building with taller two-storey buildings to both sides, and this very much underplays the significance of the location.

“There is potential, therefore, to create something visually prominent both in terms of scale and design on this site.”

The application does not reveal what kind of restaurant is envisioned if approved.

The council is yet to make a decision on the two proposals.

A number of bank branches in East Lothian have closed in recent times.

In addition to the TSB in Tranent and the RBS in Prestonpans, the Bank of Scotland in Gullane has closed.

And RBS branches in Dunbar and North Berwick are both set to shut later this year.

The closures have been condemned by politicians from all parties, but now there could be a new use for two of the old bank branch locations.