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NMAC11-1297-2''Kirkby, Victoria Road Post Office.
NMAC11-1297-2''Kirkby, Victoria Road Post Office.
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A PORTAKABIN could serve as a stop gap solution while a new Post Office site is found for Kirkby town centre.

Shoppers lost the use of the town centre branch when the Co-operative supermarket by the town centre precinct shut on 7th May to make way for a planned Morrisons store.

Post Office bosses said they were commited to retaining the Post Office service in Kirkby and were working hard to minimise a break in service.

But the process of finding someone to take on the franchise has taken longer than expected, and they have turned to a temporary solution.

A spokesman for the Post Office said: “We have received a number of applications to take over the franchise and the process of choosing the best application can take some time.

“There are issues we must consider including the business plan which must be in place.

“We are currently looking at ways to provide a temporary service while this process takes place.”

Now negotiations are taking place between the Post Office and Ashfield District Council in order to find a suitable spot for the temporary service. There were also technical issues to overcome.

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero said she had put pressure on Post Office bosses to move as quickly as possible.

She said: “Any period of time for the residents of Kirkby to be without a post office is too long.

“I asked Adrian Wales, the regional manager at the Post Office, to bring forward the deadline for applications. He has agreed to do this.”

“I asked if it was possible to open a Portakabin as a temporary service. At this very moment, they are identifying a suitable site and following through on the necessary paperwork to ensure this can be done.”

Meanwhile, work to transform the site of the former Co-operative store into Morrisons is beginning to rumble into action.

The new store will have 2,795 sq metres shop floor space and parking for 346 vehicles.

The 1970s town centre shopping precinct will be knocked down to make way for the new store.

It is part of a huge revamp of Kirkby town centre which started with the removal of the precinct’s current tenants.

Ashfield District Council has submitted a planning application for road improvements to accommodate the new store.

They plan to make adjustments to Lowmoor Road and Ellis Street including a new mini-island.