14:00 Wednesday 28 May 2014

Ely Post Office in a portable building until the autumn

Written byJORDAN DAY

Ely Post Office is currently operating from a portable building in Newnham Street car park. Ely Post Office is currently operating from a portable building in Newnham Street car park.

Ely’s post office looks set to continue operating from a portable building in a car park for the next three months.

With the search for a permanent location for the branch still on, bosses at Post Office Ltd applied for planning permission in April to continue using the portable building in Newnham Street car park until September 5.

The post office has been there since November and it was hoped the portable building would only be required until May 5.

But planners at East Cambridgeshire District Council have agreed that the temporary facilities can now be used until the autumn.

In a statement to the council, Post Office Ltd’s agents said: “The purpose of the original application was to ensure that post office services could still remain accessible to the local community while permanent new premises in the locality could be identified.

“The search for suitable alternative premises has taken longer than anticipated and to ensure that services remain available to the residents of Ely, an extension to the timescale of the temporary planning permission is necessary.”

The plan was to move the branch inside the Premier Convenience Store in High Street, but that move was axed as a public consultation revealed there would not be enough room for both facilities.

As previously reported, the City of Ely Council is demanding a fortnightly update on progress being made to find permanent premises for the post office.

In a letter to Post Office Ltd, planning officer Rebecca Saunt said: “The issues to take into consideration are residential amenity, the character and appearance of the area and conservation area, and highways.

“All of these issues were considered and addressed in the previous application when it was considered that the proposal would not have an adverse impact due to the temporary nature of the proposal.”

Bosses at Post Office Ltd say they are working “extremely hard” to find a permanent solution.

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