One of Spalding’s most unattractive buildings is to be given a new lease of life – but some think that it’s so ‘hideous and horrible’ that it should have been pulled down.
The decaying sorting office has been empty since the Royal Mail left nearly three decades ago.
The landmark, which stands on the junction of The Crescent and Spring Gardens, could now be regenerated into shopping space and town centre accommodation.
However, South Holland District councillors were pessimistic that anything will come of it, with some saying the shabby building should be ripped down instead.
Councillor Roger Gambba-Jones said: “There’s a rush to grab any proposal for an abandoned, derelict building like this. But this is totally speculative – there is no guarantee it actually be delivered.
“It was an unpleasant building to look at even when it was new, and there is no intention of making it look nice. Will people in 20 or 30 years ask us why on earth we kept it?
“I would like someone to do a bit more – keep the structure and remove the façade. I don’t look forward to seeing the sorting office continue in a different guise.”
The committee members painted a dire picture of the building’s current state, with most of the windows boarded up.
Councillor Christine Lawton said: “I am ambivalent about this – I’m glad to see it become useful accommodation, but it is a hideous, horrible building. It is pretty grim.
“Do we have to accept it standing there rotting?”
Councillor Rodney Grocock said any change would improve on its current state.
“This has been an eyesore for the people of Spalding for far too many years, and I am pleased it is actually being developed. I look forward to it no longer being a terrible thing to look at,” he said.
The ground floor would be transformed into a single large retail area, under plans brought by Mr Sarwar Bareb, although no occupiers have been lined up yet.
The upper floor would be divided into nine flats, which councillor Allan Beal remarked “certainly won’t be luxury apartments.”
The committee voted to approve the plans, with councillor Henry Bingham adding that they could be a “stepping stone” to bringing the building back to life.