Post office closure outside council control'

PUBLISHED: 13:09 11 August 2006 | UPDATED: 19:47 01 June 2010

PARISH councillors angry over the loss of their village post office will be told there is nothing the district council can do to ensure it is re-opened. Sheila Black, a planning officer for Fenland District Council, says the owner of the property and pos

PARISH councillors angry over the loss of their village post office will be told there is nothing the district council can do to ensure it is re-opened.

Sheila Black, a planning officer for Fenland District Council, says "the owner of the property and post office has categorically stated that the post office element will not open up again".

Mrs Black said the closure of the post office at Back Road, Murrow, was outside the council's control.

"The post office has already closed due to the applicant's retirement and he has tried to market the property and post office for at least 12 months without success," says Mrs Black.

Her report, to next Wednesday's planning committee, recommends approval of the change of use of the post office to housing.

"Evidence has been provided that the house and post office has been marketed in excess of 12 months and to date the property has not attracted any buyers," she says.

Regretting its loss, Mrs Black said the application is a resubmission of a previous refusal for the change of use, and is retrospective.

She said the site was formerly used as an open farm with cafe and craft shop and during this time the post office was relocated to the farm as the service was in danger of being lost from the village.

The open farm ceased operation at the end of 2001, and the shop and post office was sold on.

However, agreement was reached in 2002 for a house to be built outside the development area boundary, with the post office facilities attached.

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