Hotel plan for Wakefield’s old Post Office

Wakefield city centre could be in line for a new hotel after plans to convert the former main Post Office were approved.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 1:04 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 2:04 pm
The Post Office on Providence Street closed in 2016.

Wakefield city centre could be in line for a new hotel after plans to convert the former main Post Office were approved.

The site is a four-storey building at the junction of Providence Street and Northgate, and is currently made up of 15 apartments.

Developers are looking to change the use of the apartments to nine apart-hotel rooms and 30 hotel rooms. Police did not object to the development but expressed concern about the booking system that would be used, which would involve paying for a room online and then using a code to access the room, with no reception.

The force recommended CCTV be installed “for the purpose of enhancing the level of security and reducing any potential safeguarding issue”.

The report said: “The concern relates to the use of the rooms for criminal activities and the lack of a ‘guardian’ to oversee the running of the building.” The developer confirmed that the codes change each time somebody books and high-specification CCTV would be in place.

Wakefield Civic society did not comment on the application but its president, Kevin Trickett, said the quality of the conversion would decide whether or not it was a benefit to the city.

He said: “Wakefield does need a hotel in the city centre and this is a genuine attempt to make hotel space. But the caveat is that it has to be done well.

“We want people visiting the city to have a good experience and want to come again.” No changes will be made to the outside of the building. The Post Office shut down in 2016 during an unpopular series of closures.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh launched a petition to keep it which was signed by hundreds.

But the Post Office said it was not commercially viable to keep it open and instead moved into WHSmith.

The plan was approved the same week as ambitious proposals to convert Bretton Hall into an luxury hotel were revealed.

See pages 8 and 9. The site is a four-storey building at the junction of Providence Street and Northgate, and is currently made up of 15 apartments.

Developers are looking to change the use of the apartments to nine apart-hotel rooms and 30 hotel rooms. Police did not object to the development but expressed concern about the booking system that would be used, which would involve paying for a room online and then using a code to access the room, with no reception.

The force recommended CCTV be installed “for the purpose of enhancing the level of security and reducing any potential safeguarding issue”.

The report said: “The concern relates to the use of the rooms for criminal activities and the lack of a ‘guardian’ to oversee the running of the building.” The developer confirmed that the codes change each time somebody books and high-specification CCTV would be in place.

Wakefield Civic society did not comment on the application but its president, Kevin Trickett, said the quality of the conversion would decide whether or not it was a benefit to the city.

He said: “Wakefield does need a hotel in the city centre and this is a genuine attempt to make hotel space. But the caveat is that it has to be done well.

“We want people visiting the city to have a good experience and want to come again.” No changes will be made to the outside of the building. The Post Office shut down in 2016 during an unpopular series of closures.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh launched a petition to keep it which was signed by hundreds.

But the Post Office said it was not commercially viable to keep it open and instead moved into WHSmith.

The plan was approved the same week as ambitious proposals to convert Bretton Hall into an luxury hotel were revealed.