Village post office near Coalville will close for good as council gives green light to owners' residential plans
By Graham Hill
19th Jul 2022 | Local News
Plans which would mean Coleorton losing its post office permanently have been given the green light by North West Leicestershire District Council.
An application to convert all of the post office building in Lower Moor Road into residential accommodation has been permitted.
The shop and post office facility is currently closed and ceased trading last December.
The building will now see the post office section become the lounge area of the new development.
In March, we reported that Coleorton would be one of three areas to be added to the Mobile Post Office service.
A council report says the owners of the residential property ran the business and they have listed the reasons for the change.
• The physical health of the applicant has in recent years impeded the ability of the applicant to run the business;
• Trade had reduced prior to the Covid 19 pandemic due to M&S Food and Village Farm Shop trading locally but despite an initial increase in business in the first year of Covid 19, footfall decreased again;
• Covid 19 impacted upon shopping habits with the elderly becoming reliant on families to do their shopping/or have shopping delivered to their doorstep;
• Younger families have always ordered food online and only visited the shop on the odd occasion when they had run out of something;
• The last two years accounts show a loss;
• The Post Office has a reduced daily footfall because big customers started using courier services which were cheaper and collect from the doorstep and Royal Mail has also reduced online prices whilst retaining higher prices in stores;
• The Post Office only served people coming in for the odd stamp and return drop off;
• It was a difficult decision to close the business;
• Local businesses were approached to see if they wanted to take on the business but they were not interested.
Coleorton Parish Council raised objections on the ground that the shop/post office is felt to be a valued service for the village, particularly, the elderly and vulnerable.
A total of 25 letters of neighbour representation were received, with three raising objections to the proposals and 21 supporting them.
Of those objectiong, the concerns included:
• Loss of a community asset where people could meet and keep in touch; -
• Valuable service to those who cannot drive or have no internet, particularly the elderly;
• The premises are the last retail facility in Coleorton and the are no other community facilities;
• The loss of the shop will affect the sustainability of Coleorton and could affect housing growth;
• Similar businesses succeed in Worthington, Breedon and Packington and the business at Coloerton can still succeed;
• All options should be considered before this community asset is lost as required by policy;
• The post office/shop has not been offered for sale as a business for someone else to take on.
Those in support of the plans said:
• The Post Office has been closed and there is insufficient demand for a shop in the village and consequently a shop is an unviable proposition;
• Only a minority of people in the village used the business once a week and the business was not sustainable with such footfall;
• The current owners of the property, particularly considering their superb service to the village during their tenure of the Post Office where they created a hub for the community, deserve the opportunity to convert the property into a dwelling house for their personal enjoyment;
• Shopping habits have changed with online shopping and home delivery of everything over the past few years and Royal Mail direct pick-up options for businesses has reduced the need for the shop/post office;
• The shop space is not big enough for a franchise to take over;
• Royal Mail will continue to provide a regular mobile service in the village;
• The family has supported the community and now should be allowed to convert the premises, remain in the village and continue to be a part of the community.