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National Park Authority protests against Post Office closure plans

This is an archived press release

Monday 29 October 2007

29 October 2007

National Park Authority protests against Post Office closures

The Peak District National Park Authority has called for a re-think over the proposed closure of three post offices in the National Park.

Post Office Ltd has listed Edensor, Bonsall and Moorhall (Bakewell) among 77 East Midlands branches set for closure by the end of 2008. It is part of a plan to shut 2,500 post offices nationwide due to rising losses and fewer people using the network.

But the National Park Authority is seriously concerned over the impact on local communities, residents and visitors of closing these three branches.

In response to a six-week consultation, National Park Authority chair Narendra Bajaria urged the Post Office to take full account of the special circumstances of living in a National Park.

“The Post Office has simply assessed the proximity of alternatives in miles,” he said. “But this fails to take into account that public transport can be infrequent and costly, and National Park villages serve high numbers of visitors, which mean that post offices play a vital part in the sustainability of these communities.”

Edensor, for instance, on the Chatsworth estate, is both poorly-served by public transport and a highly-popular visitor area. Its 150-year-old post office is the focal point of the village, with tea-rooms and a shop.

Bonsall is also well-used by visitors, and Bakewell’s Moorhall branch serves an area of social housing with significant numbers of young families, lower income families and the elderly.

The Authority’s policy is to retain community facilities, he pointed out, and it could refuse planning permission for change of use of a post office unless it were to provide another community facility, and there was clear evidence it was no longer needed and unviable.

In a letter to the Post Office, Mr Bajaria wrote: “We are unconvinced that you have made the decision to close the post offices in Bonsall, Edensor and Moorhall with a full assessment of their local circumstances and would ask you to reconsider these decisions.”

The Post Office’s six-week consultation period ends on November 12. People can write to: Mark Partington, Network Development Manager, Post Office National Consultation Team, FREEPOST CONSULTATION TEAM or e-mail: consultation@postoffice.co.uk

This is an archived press release

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