Business leaders in Mansfield are reminding Post Office bosses of their commitment to the high street as it consults on plans to move to new town centre premises.
John Sankey, Mansfield Business Improvement District chairman, has written to Post Office after it launched a consultation into its plans to relocate the town centre branch from Church Street to inside the WHSmith store in Four Seasons Shopping Centre.
Mr Sankey wrote: “We understand this will be done due to commercial restraints and operational costs for yourselves, but we believe you will understand the detrimental effect this will have on the Church Street area and those businesses located there.
“Not only will footfall dramatically reduce within that area, but the listed building you will vacate will become another empty property, leaving a hole on what is a central focal point for such a fantastic conservation area.
“We would like to open up conversations once the consultation period has closed regarding any future plans of this empty property, should you continue with the plans.
“However, again we would like to stress, on behalf of the Mansfield business community, the potential danger of these plans.”
Businesses in the Church Street area have contacted the BID to express their disappointment at the proposed move, which they say will hurt footfall and have a detrimental effect on their businesses.
Craig Kerry, who runs the Mansfield Computer Store, on Church Street, believes his business will be hit if the post office relocates.
His lease is due for review and he says he may sign for a shorter period than he was originally planning, in case the branch move goes ahead and his business is hit.
He said: “The post office plays an important role in Church Street, helping bring people down to this end of town. Like many businesses here, we get people coming in who have been to the post office. That will change if the move goes ahead and will have a detrimental affect.
“I may have to move further into the town centre.”
Any businesses in the Church Street area wanting to share their views about the proposed move, should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Allsop, Mansfield mayor, has already condemned Post Office’s plans, fearing it could damage trade in the area.
She said: “The current post office building is a focal point for the White Hart Street area of town and we would not want to see such a large property become derelict.”
In a letter to the council, Post Office said: “The move is part of our ongoing modernisation of the network and will allow us to maintain a Crown post office in Mansfield while providing a modern new branch for customers.”
A public consultation on the plans is now taking place. It ends on Wednesday, November 16, before a final decision is made on the proposal. If approved, it is proposed the branch would move in March.
To comment on the plans, email email@example.com