Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Alex Kemp and Civic Society frustrated amid confusion over whereabouts of new owners at old King’s Lynn Post Office

Furious complaints about “absentee landlords” have once again thrust the future of Lynn’s old Post Office building into the limelight.

Hopes were high for the Baxter’s Plain site, which has been lying derelict since 2007, after its new owners were granted planning permission at the start of last year to convert it into a mixture of properties, a pub, wine bar and takeaway.

However, the successful applicant Feride Guccuk – a director of Devrim Enterprises – does not appear to have kick-started any work at the building, which was once a thriving spot in town.

The old Post Office building at Baxter’s Plain in Lynn
The old Post Office building at Baxter’s Plain in Lynn

And confusion over the whereabouts of the company has led to fears that the plans may not come to fruition.

Borough and county councillor Alex Kemp said: “Enough is enough. I am furious at the neglect Lynn is suffering from the absentee landlords of the old Post Office.

“When I ran a campaign in 2007 to keep the Post Office on Baxter’s Plain, we foresaw this very disaster happening.”

West Norfolk Council granted Ms Guccuk planning permission to re-develop the building in early 2022, and it had previously been struck off the address register due to the amount of time it had lay empty.

Devrim Enterprises’ registered address is now that of the old Post Office – but it is still uninhabited and the company has no apparent contact details.

The Lynn News attempted to contact Baran Guccuk, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as a senior manager for the company. It says he is “managing the development” of the building.

However, we had received no response at the time of our print deadline.

Alison Gifford, the chair of Lynn Civic Society, is also concerned that the Baxter’s Plain site could remain unused for years to come.

She said: “We very much get that idea. It’s been empty for nearly 20 years – it deteriorates.

“We feel that the whole of the Baxter’s Plain area could be a really attractive area, but the Post Office needs tackling.

“There’s no point in trying to wait for this company to do something about it – I don’t believe they will.”

At the time the plans to transform the building were passed, councillors reacted to them with positivity – with some deeming them "exciting".

Speaking in support of the application before it was given the green light, Baran Guccuk said: “We want to ensure this project fits in well in the town centre and we will work with the regeneration team so that it functions well for the community.”

He said that moving forward, the building would be officially known as the King's Lynn Athenaeum.

Now, however, Ms Gifford and Cllr Kemp both believe the issue could be solved if the borough council uses its compulsory purchase enforcement powers to buy the building itself.

Cllr Kemp said: “Councils need to take their responsibilities to the town’s heritage seriously.

“It is no good giving money to tourist organisations while letting the town's heritage go to rack and ruin.”

However, a borough council spokesperson told the Lynn News that these enforcement powers are only used as a “last resort”.

They said: “The council did consider making use of CPO powers in 2017. However, that year the site was acquired by a private sector organisation, who, as far as we are aware, still own the site.

“They have subsequently secured planning consent for the its development. While it appears that a private sector organisation is dealing with the site, it is unlikely that a public sector attempt to acquire it through CPO powers would be successful.”

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More