PLANS to transform Bolton town centre’s former Post Office building into 48 apartments have been revealed.

The former Post Office in Deansgate, which closed in August 2018 after serving the town for 102 years, could now be converted into flats.

The residential scheme features 38 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units accommodated in the historic building with car parking behind it.

A planning application to change the use of the building submitted to Bolton Council includes making alterations and some extensions to the building as well as demolishing a single-storey structure at the back of the building. But the main façade facing Deansgate would remain unchanged.

The building, which itself is not listed, was designed by the architect Charles P. Wilkinson, who was Head Architect for the northern branch of Post Offices and designed many Post Offices in the North of England at the time.

Cllr Richard Silvester, Labour’s shadow cabinet member for housing and planning, welcomed the plans. He said: “Many people will remember using the former Post Office building over the years and it was a real shame that it closed. However, that was a commercial decision by the Post Office themselves and I understand that they were renting the premises.

“I have written in to support the planning application as the building façade will be preserved. The applicant has promised to replace the windows with modern ones which will be as close to the original designs in order to keep the character of the building.

“The proposals would bring this empty building back into re-use for apartments on this strategic brown field site.

“We need to get life breathing again into that side of Deansgate which is looking very neglected and I would like to see some plans developed by the owners of the former sorting office site, behind the former Post Office, to bring that site back into re-use.

“The Conservative council also needs to get on with the rest of the Deansgate re-development area because the more brownfield sites that can be used for housing, less pressure is then placed on our greenbelt and green open spaces.”

Deputy leader Martyn Cox is responsible for development and regeneration. He said: “We welcome the plans for the Post Office and the confidence shown in the town centre despite COVID-19.

“The council is committed to its town centre regeneration plans and will be doing all we can to get the local economy moving as soon as we get the green light from the government.

“We know lots of local businesses have made huge sacrifices to fight COVID-19 and we want them to know we are on their side and will support them in anyway we can.”

Planning officers are due to decide the outcome of the application by August.