http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/bid_t ... _1_4739280
Proposals to move a resort’s main post office into the town’s WHSmith store will go ahead – despite protests from community leaders and residents.
Officials from the Post Office Crown Network said they have completed their consultation on the move, which would help to ensure the branch is commercially viable into the future and protect Post Office services for customers in Felixstowe.
They said the post office would move into WHSmith in Hamilton Road and would open seven days a week, a total of 9.5 extra hours.
Roger Gale, general manager for the Post Office’s Crown branch network, said 93 representations had been received with the main areas of concern around parking, the size and capacity of the proposed new premises to cope with additional customers, and access.
There was also concern about the impact on the wider post office network as the Bent Hill sub office is just 300 metres away, and Felixstowe Town Council asked for “serious consideration” to be given to the possibility of moving the Post Office to the East of England Co-operative supermarket at the other end of Hamilton Road.
Residents also questioned if there is enough room in a WHSmith store already tight on space and carrying limited stock and feared the store would have even less books, stationery, magazines and other goods.
Mr Gale said it was accepted some people would have further to travel, but there were car parks nearby and disabled parking 50m from the store.
The shop’s doors would be changed to automatic ones and there would be sufficient space for Post Office customers, including wheelchair users, to move around the store and reach the Post Office area without hindrance with the entrance and shopping aisles kept free of obstructions.
He said: “After careful consideration of the feedback received, we are confident that the new branch will be suitably located and that it will continue to meet customer needs and deliver an excellent service, whilst helping to provide future sustainability for the branch and maintaining a Post Office presence in Felixstowe.”
The new post office will feature one traditional counter and two open plan ones.
The move will take place November 23-24.