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Blow to post office plans

PUBLISHED: 15:03 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 July 2010

Hopes of a village getting a new post office as part of a housing development have taken a blow.

Villagers in Bawdeswell had hoped a new housing development in the village would bring with it a new post office.

Hopes of a village getting a new post office as part of a housing development have taken a blow.

Villagers in Bawdeswell had hoped a new housing development in the village would bring with it a new post office.

Peddars Way Housing Association had been given permission to build a development at Folland Court on condition they add to facilities in the village.

But on Tuesday a condition they rebuild a post office was cancelled by Breckland Council's cabinet committee because no one has yet been found to run the new branch.

Without anyone to run a new branch, to replace to one which closed years ago, the post office would not be built - putting the entire scheme in jeopardy.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge told the cabinet meeting: “The people of Bawdeswell would dearly like to have a post office but the concerns are around trying to man it.”

He said it people were happy to have the condition lifted - but that this was on the understanding that if a sub postmaster could be found Peddars Way would then still build a new post office for the village.

He said meetings with Post Office Ltd had been arranged for June 25 and another in July over the possible post office for the village.

The village shop, a national chain, has been approached to see if they would take on a post office, the meeting was told, but they have declined due to staffing implications.

Another option put forward was for another post office in a neighbouring village to take it on as an outreach service.

Ralph Burton, an economic development officer at the council, said that if no one could be found to run a branch in the village, Post Office would have to look again at what their future was in the village.

“It is within the network programme so long as they can find a sub postmaster. The village shop has been approached but it is not interested.

“They will have to look at it in December to see what they will do with it.”

A spokesman for Breckland Council said: “We understand the importance of post offices to rural communities. It is unfortunate that, despite the best efforts of Peddars Way, it has not been possible to find anyone who would be willing to take on the running of a new post office.

“If someone steps forward soon to give a commitment to run the new post office, Peddars Way will still build it.”

Peddars Way still has to meet the other conditions, which includes transferring 65per cent of the site to the parish council to be used as an amenity area and keep the existing footpath to The Street.

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