Multi-million pound proposals to transform Lynn’s former Post Office into shops, offices and flats have been submitted to planning officers.
A consultation exercise on the plan for the Baxter’s Plain site is now underway and a decision on it could be made before the end of the year.
Developers Telereal Trillium, who own the building, want to adapt and renovate the site to create a mixed-use development, which would include 27 flats, retail units and offices, as well as a medical facility such as a doctor’s surgery or dental practice.
The plan, which is expected to cost up to £9 million to complete, has been drawn up following talks with West Norfolk Council officials and after a public exhibition of the ideas was held in Lynn’s town centre in June.
The company said the plan is vital in order to make full use of the site, which has been empty since the Post Office was moved into the WHSmith branch in Norfolk Street in 2007.
A report submitted to the council as part of the application said: “Since then the site has been on the market, but, due to its condition and layout, it has not attracted any potential purchasers.”
The report added that the building was in a poor state of repair and that all the windows needed to be replaced.
However, the possibilities of demolishing most or all of the existing buildings were both ruled out because of what the report described as their “complete economic non-viability.”
Key aspects of the proposal include a first floor landscaped area, which the company says would be a raised ground level and communal open space for the residential aspect of the development.
The lower floors would be primarily used for shop and office space, as well as a medical facility if one could be provided.
New stairs and lifts will also be installed, while some of the roof space would be converted to form a mixture of one and two bedroomed flats.
The report said a precedent for such a development had been set by the conversion of the former Oil Cake Mill in Baker Lane in the 1980s.
But the company said it envisages that the development would be car-free and that talks would be necessary with the council over whether residents would be issued with permits to use local car parks.
Public consultations over the plans began on Friday and run until September 20. A target date of November 28 has been set for a decision to be reached. If approved, the company has said builders would not move onto the site until at least the middle of next year.