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New plans submitted for former King's Lynn Post Office site

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Bars, a takeaway and dozens of new homes could be provided if new plans to redevelop Lynn's former Post Office building are given the go-ahead.

Heritage campaigners yesterday gave a cautious welcome to proposals for a change of use of the Baxter's Plain building, which has stood empty for nearly 15 years.

And developers claim their scheme offers "a great opportunity" for wider regeneration of the area.

New plans have been submitted for the site of the former Post Office in Lynn (50037014)
New plans have been submitted for the site of the former Post Office in Lynn (50037014)

Details of the new application to West Norfolk Council have now been published by the authority, after the scheme was formally validated by officials on Friday.

It allows for a change of use of the building to enable the development of a public house, wine bar and hot food takeaway at ground floor level, with 30 flats in the three storeys above.

An extension of the third floor of the building could provide another four residential units.

The building has been closed to the public since 2007 and a report prepared on behalf of the applicant, listed as Mrs Feride Guccuk, said it was "classed as being beyond economic repair and it had been struck off the address register.

"The current state of the building is poor and in need of repair including all windows that need replacement."

The report added: "The conversion of the Old Post Office provides the great opportunity for the council to take forward what their vision has been for Baxter’s Plain.

"Beyond this planning application, the applicant would like to engage with all parties in order to improve the setting for the building on Baxter’s Plain."

King's Lynn Civic Society chairman Alison Gifford yesterday said they were encouraged by the new plans, though they have yet to study them in detail.

She said they had been in contact with both the current and former owners of the site over many years and hope it could lead to broader schemes for Baxters Plain, as well as the nearby Blackfriars Street and Paradise Parade.

She said: "We're very pleased to see this come forward. We want to encourage anything that can come onto this important site."

She added that the idea of a mixed use of the site accorded with their preferences for it.

A previous proposal for the site, incorporating homes, office and retail space plus a health facility, was approved by West Norfolk Council in December 2013.

The new proposal follows discussions between council officials and the developer last autumn over what might be considered a suitable proposal.

The applicant's design statement said conversion of the existing building was seen as the preferred option for the site, while a mixed use scheme was felt to be acceptable.

No residential parking is proposed within the scheme, which the developer said would be car-free because of the close proximity of the site to town centre facilities.

A decision on the new proposal could be made as early as this autumn, although a scheme of this scale is likely to be referred to the borough council's planning committee for deliberation.

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