Apartment conversion agreed for former Blackpool civil service office

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A bid to convert former civil service offices in Blackpool into apartments has got the go ahead despite objections from residents.

Blackpool Council has approved an application to change Mexford House to residential use paving the way for the three-storey building to be redeveloped into 92 new homes.

Mexford House

Mexford House

But five objection to the scheme were made by people living nearby who raised concerns about the impact on parking and traffic congestion.

Some residents also feared the development would overlook their properties, impinging on their privacy.

Steven Gallagher, of Raymond Avenue, said in his submission: "Our biggest objection to these plans is the massive invasion of privacy which will result as our house and garden is in immediate view of Mexford House."

He added that while people wanted to see the property put to good use, it was feared traffic levels would increase many times over.

Mr Gallagher said: "Mexford Avenue and Raymond Avenue are already used as a cut through by people dangerously driving too quickly, and the traffic levels if these plans are approved will be dangerous and unwanted."

An assessment by planning officers said the council would have preferred the site to be developed for family housing, but changes to planning rules imposed by the government meant this could not be dictated.

The council's head of highways and traffic management did not object to the scheme, while planners said objections on the grounds of privacy, noise and security could not be taken into account.

It is proposed to redevelop the building with 30 ground floor flats, and 31 flats on the first and second floors, with 131 car parking spaces provided.

Mexford House, which was built in the 1970s, closed in 2009 when workers were transferred to other premises.

In 2006 almost 250 workers were based there, employed by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Inland Revenue. Since it closed, the building has been empty.