Starbeck Avenue Post Office closes
Plans to move the Post Office were already under consultation; however, the Starbeck Avenue office closed its doors at short notice on Wednesday 30th November. JesmondLocal understands that the manager decided she no longer wanted to run the branch.
The Post Office issued a statement, saying that the premises were “no longer…available for use as a Post Office”, but provided no further background to the closure.
The proposed move had already caused controversy, with residents and councillors expressing the view that the new location was not suitable.
There was also concern about the suggestion that a cash point would be installed, which might add to transient noise, especially at night.
Labour councillor David Hardman said that the previous building was much more suitable, as it was “further away from residential housing.” He also pointed to the lack of windows and open space in the new location, making it easier for potential thieves to conceal themselves from view.
Cllr Hardman wrote to residents advising them to contribute their views to the consultation, which ended 29th November. He has also voiced concerns to the planning officer and suggested limiting the availability of the cash point to certain hours and opening up the shop to make it more visible.
The Post Office is still considering feedback and it is likely that the new office will open early next year.
Meanwhile, residents are without a local branch. Post Office spokesperson Marie Gray said: “We apologise to customers for any inconvenience this temporary closure may cause. We remain committed to reopening a Post Office in this area.”