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Post Office re-opens talks with Hooks
PROGRESS is finally being made to establish a permanent post office in Bridgwater’s town centre.
Post Office Ltd has re-opened negotiations with Hooks about putting its main office for the town at the back of the Eastover store.
Hooks stressed the plans are not a done deal, but manager Charlotte Spencer said, if successful, the project could help to regenerate Eastover.
“People would pass by the other shops to get here and a lot of the empty units would be filled,” she told the Mercury.
“Hooks are in talks with the Post Office. Nothing’s been agreed yet but we really want to get this sorted as soon as possible because we want to move on as a business.”
The popular store was originally considered as an option and the Post Office even released an artist’s impression of the development.
The idea at the time would have seen the partitioning at the back of Hooks taken down to make room for a new post office, with a booth.
It would be accessible through the store and also have its own entrance at the back, making it more accessible from those using busses.
The public made it clear they felt Sainsbury’s would be an unsuitable location, raising concerns over traffic congestion and poor access for people walking, especially the elderly.
Alan Hurford, clerk to Bridgwater Town Council, said: “Since the Post Office took the decision not to pursue the Sainsbury's option, which we never supported, things have progressed towards an alternative site which will be in a location where we actually want the post office to be.
"I hope that it will be resolved pretty soon."
Sedgemoor District Council said it supports the desire for the return of a post office in the town centre.
A spokesman added: “We are working hard in partnership with the Town Council to make this a reality and have jointly pledged to provide support to find a sustainable and suitable solution.
“No formal proposal has been made by Post Office Ltd at this stage, however, a public consultation period will be launched by them once a firm proposal is in place.”
A Post Office spokesman said they were unable to confirm any proposed location yet, adding: “We have been working with the town council and district council to explore suitable alternative locations for Bridgwater Post Office.
“When we have finalised a proposal for a new location we will undertake a six-week public consultation process and invite customer feedback on the proposed new location for the branch.”