New 102-bedroom hotel plan unveiled for historic Blackpool town centre landmark

New investment proposals for Blackpool's Grade II listed former Post Office have been unveiled which would see the historic building converted to a 102 bedroom hotel.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 3:45 pm
Abingdon Street Post Office

A revised planning application for the site between Abingdon Street and Edward Street, which also include the town's former sorting office, has been lodged with Blackpool Council.

It is the third set of proposals to be submitted for the building by developer Joe Thompson of Thompson Contracts who bought the landmark in 2015.

The latest vision would see some demolition of less significant buildings at the rear of the property, and the construction of two three storey extensions including one with a roof terrace over Abingdon Street.

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Abingdon Street Post Office

The hotel would be created in the upper floors with an entrance from Edward Street and a ground floor restaurant.

Ancillary uses for the building include a bar, shops, offices and further restaurants with car parking inside the courtyard for 46 vehicles.

The proposals would see the eight phone boxes at the front of the Post Office, which are also Grade II listed, retained while historic features including the windows would be restored.

Mr Thompson said: "We have elected to go for a scheme with less enabling and modification works than the previous application.

The courtyard at the former Abingdon Street Post Office

"There has been a variety of interest in both aspects (commercial, likely leisure operator, in Abingdon Street and a hotel in Edward Street) but, we’ve decided not to kick off any active marketing of the development until the planning is passed.

"Blackpool Council has continued to be supportive of our plans and we hope to put the landmark site back into beneficial use as soon as possible."

A design statement says the aim is to "enhance the strong presence of the original Post Office and sorting office buildings by the addition of relatively simple, visually ‘light’ building forms within the inner courtyard.

"The creation of the raised plaza area with canopied perimeters, allows the focus to be on the two main buildings, whilst screening the existing irregular and smaller buildings to the north and south. "

Inside the empty former post office

The counter service at the Post Office, which was built in 1910, closed in 2007 when it was moved to WH Smith’s in Bank Hey Street.

Developer Mr Thompson's first proposal for the building included a 50-bedroom hotel which gained planning permission in November 2016.

The scheme was then ditched in favour of fresh plans approved in November 2017 for a retail scheme called the Red Box Quarter.