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Derelict building in town centre to be converted into housing units with rooftop garden

todayJanuary 10, 2022 4

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The Borough Council approved plans this morning that will see the old Post Office on Baxter’s Plain in Lynn transformed into residential units.

The Post Office, which was once a thriving spot in town, has been derelict for fifteen years and new plans are set to restore the building, complete with a takeaway at ground level and rooftop garden.

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.

Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162798)
Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162798)

Despite concerns about asbestos and parking, councillors reacted with positivity to the plans, deeming them “exciting”.

Case officer Connor Smalls said: “This application seeks approval for a public house wine bar, hot food takeaway on the ground floor and 30 residential units.

“The building is not listed but is considered a designated heritage asset due to it’s age and location.”

Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162810)
Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162810)

Speaking in support of the application development manager Baran Guccuk said: “The former post office will be known as the King’s Lynn Athenaeum, which is what it was known as formerly.

“This is a nod to it’s heritage.

“Our designers have kept true to this principle throughout the design process, we are retaining the front of the building.

Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162803)
Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162803)

“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.”

Concerns were raised about the impact of an “enormous” amount of asbestos on the community once building would commence.

Councillor Francis Bone said: “These old buildings are rife with asbestos, it’s a great danger, I would like to see something in the report about how this will be managed.

“Reports show that this building has an enormous amount of asbestos.

Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162806)
Plans for 30 residential units and a rooftop garden in the old Post Office building have been approved (54162806)

“I’m concerned about the people in the area who will be exposed during the extraction of it.

“In some respects we’ve missed an opportunity to develop a site in Lynn in a modern way.

“That’s an observation I’m not going to die in a ditch for that.

“We have 30 units, in the report it suggests we should be looking for people that would be taking alternative transport, but there is no on street parking or electric charging points – something that would have to be done before this project starts.”

Councillor Terry Parish said: “I would say the last thing Lynn needs is more units devoted to drink and food and I think if they were re-allocated to something useful it would be better.”

Councillor Jo Rust showed enthusiasm for the project.

She said: “I’ve listened with interest to the comments of my colleagues and agree that parking is a valid concern.

“I would argue that those visiting the town centre would make provision for that.

“Unlike my esteemed leader I don’t think that you can ever have enough food and drink units.

“I genuinely hope this is the high quality establishment that our officers have waxed lyrical about – but I’m genuinely excited by this.

“The concern I have is over the shared bin store facility with the residents and retail outlets.”

There were questions about the “financial viability” of bars and restaurants in the unit.

Councillor Sandra Squire said: “For as long as I’ve been here that building has been out of use, and that can affect how the town sees itself and how residents feel about it.

“It’s nice to have some redevelopment to bring the building back to life.

“I do acknowledge the concerns about parking but on the other hand I’m part of a three car household and I wouldn’t live somewhere with no parking.

“I like the design rooftop garden and I think it’s exciting.

“But I’m concerned about the financial viability of bars and restaurants, I’m don’t know whether the flats will help them but I do have concerns about the business that opens there.”

The vote was carried unanimously.

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.



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