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Old Post Office hotel plans face objections from heritage group

Posted on - 5th December, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Redevelopment
The Old Post Office hosted Best of Britannia North for a second year

The Old Post Office has recently been used as a conference venue

A two-storey extension on top of a grade-II listed building in Preston city centre has drawn criticism.

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The former Post Office in Birley Street, overlooking the Flag Market, is due to be redeveloped into a 60-bed hotel by the Signature Living group.

But plans to Preston City Council’s planning committee show heritage campaigners the Twentieth Century Society object to the extension.

They state: “The proposed two-storey extension would have a harmful impact on the exterior of the listed building, which makes a fine contribution to the central conservation area and setting of adjacent listed buildings.

“It would be prominent and overly-dominant in views along the two side streets. It will contrast unsympathetically with the grade II listed market canopy.

“It is strongly recommended that the mass of the extension is reduced in height and pulled back from the northern end.”

Read more: What to expect when Signature Living revamp the Old Post Office

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30 James Street is one of the Liverpool hotels renovated by the group

Signature Hotels say the extension is needed so it can host weddings, conferences and other events.

A restaurant and bar is planned within the hotel building, which was sold by the city council to the hotel chain for an undisclosed sum.

Planning officers have recommended the plans for approval saying: “Whilst an objection has been received from the Twentieth Century Society the propose development would ensure the long term sustainability and viability of a significant heritage asset in the Market Place Conservation Area by delivering a luxury hotel and associate facilities in accordance with the direct aspirations of the City Centre Plan.

“The proposal would result in the renovation and refurbishment of the existing listed building, bringing a vacant and valued heritage asset back into viable use. The proposed alterations and extensions would not be adversely detrimental to the host building, nearby listed buildings or the conservation area and have been found enhance the building. The proposed development would be acceptable in relation to design, layout, appearance, access, ecology, utilities and drainage, safety and security and waste management.”

Read more: Heritage group says former Booths HQ should be kept as is

The proposals are due to be discussed by councillors on Thursday (8 December) at the next planning committee at the Town Hall from 1.30pm.

What do you think of the plans? Let us know your views on the Old Post Office in the comments below

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