Permission granted for redevelopment of former post office

King's Lynn's former main post office, which could be converted into a bar and flats

King's Lynn's former main post office, which could be converted into a bar and flats - Credit: Chris Bishop

A former post office will be converted into flats with a pub, wine bar, "drinking establishments" and a takeaway on the ground floor, after councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plan. 

At a Monday meeting of West Norfolk borough council’s planning committee, the project to repurpose the former post office and BT exchange on Baxter's Plain, in the centre of King's Lynn, was considered by members. 

The building, known as the Athenaeum, was built in 1854 and previously housed a museum and music hall, but has been vacant for more than a decade and is not listed. 

Baran Guccuk, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said the intention was “to bring back a building that has been derelict for a long time to once again provide benefits to King’s Lynn”.

Labour councillor Francis Bone said he had concerns about a lack of adequate parking, which the council’s independent opposition leader, Terry Parish, said he shared.

A pubilc meeting was held Old Friends Hall in Heacham discussing the housing development on School R

A pubilc meeting was held Old Friends Hall in Heacham discussing the housing development on School Road - Parish councillor Terry Parish. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Mr Parish added: “I would have thought the last thing King’s Lynn needs is more units devoted to drink and food, so if those units could be re-allocated to something different, more useful, than it would be better, but I can’t disagree that bringing into use a building that’s been disused is a good idea.”

Independent councillor Jo Rust said: “I agree that parking is a concern, however, I would anticipate that anybody that is moving into a town centre apartment would look at that, and be aware that they had to make their own provision. 

Protestors outside the QEH hospital in Kings Lynn, organised by Kings Lynn Trades Council.Pictures

Protestors outside the QEH hospital in Kings Lynn, organised by Kings Lynn Trades Council. Pictures is Jo Rust from KL Trades Council Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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“I’ve lived in King’s Lynn since I was 11 and I can remember that post office being a thriving post office and being at the heart of our town, so I am really excited by this development.

“I think it’s something that we can look forward to, and unlike my esteemed leader, I don’t think you could ever have enough food and drink outlets, I look forward to having some more - that’s just my tummy talking.”

Independent councillor Sandra Squire said: "Buildings like that, they affect how the town views itself, how residents feel about it, and it affects how outsiders and visitors feel about the town - it looks bad.

Independent Norfolk county councillor Sandra Squire. Pic: Norfolk Independent Group.

Independent Norfolk county councillor Sandra Squire. Pic: Norfolk Independent Group. - Credit: Norfolk Independent Group

"So it's nice to have some redevelopment to bring this building back to life."

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