Proposals to transform Blackpool civil service building Mexford House into flats set to go before planners

Ambitious proposals to convert former civil service offices in Blackpool into apartments are set to go before planners next week.
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The latest plans would see Mexford House on Mexford Avenue, North Shore, transformed into 78 homes - reduced from the original scheme of 87 flats.

The full planning application includes external alterations such as the installation of new windows to various elevations, removal of existing entrance and demolition of existing out buildings, with associated parking, cycle store, access and landscaping.

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Although planning permission was granted in April 2019 for the property to be converted into 92 flats, the scheme never went ahead, and that approval has now expired.

Proposals to turn  this civil service office building into flats is due to go before Blackpool plannersProposals to turn  this civil service office building into flats is due to go before Blackpool planners
Proposals to turn this civil service office building into flats is due to go before Blackpool planners
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The application is due to go before Blackpool’s planning committee on Tuesday December 12.

Applicant The Mexford Group says although the building has been empty since 2009 when civil servants moved out, it is "generally in good condition, but is starting to need attention, therefore conversion to residential use will secure its future."

With the scheme amended to 78 units to provide a greater housing mix, the plans are that only 6 or 8% would be one-beds, and all of these would be intended for two person occupation.

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The applicants say there will be no three-bed flats, as it was considered that demand for these will be low.

However, given the constraints of the site, the lack of three-bed provision is not considered to weigh significantly against the proposal.

Members are recommended to support the proposals and delegate the application for approval by the Head of Development Management, subject to various conditions.

Mexford House, which was built in the 1960s, was occupied by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Inland Revenue with almost 250 workers based there in 2006.

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After it closed, staff were transferred to other offices in Blackpool including Warbreck House in North Shore and Ryscar House in Bispham.

But those buildings are also now set for closure, to be replaced with a new a £100m seven storey office block currently under construction on a site between Cookson Street and King Street in the town centre.

Up to 3,000 civil servants from the DWP are due to be relocated there when the offices are completed, which is expected to be by autumn 2024.

Around 2,700 staff will be transferred from Warbreck House and just over 300 from Ryscar House.

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