Post Office plans to move from Sailmakers to WH Smiths in Ipswich town centre to be opposed by borough council

WH Smith in Ipswich, which could get a Post Office

WH Smith in Ipswich, which could get a Post Office - Credit: Archant

Proposals to close a town centre Post Office and relocate it to WH Smiths may be opposed by the borough council over accessibility concerns.

The council’s executive is to discuss its response to the proposal at its meeting next week – and is set to tell the Post Office that its proposals are inadequate and should be rethought.

The Post Office plans to take over the first floor area of WH Smith that was occupied by Costa Coffee until that moved earlier this year.

The borough is being consulted – although it cannot prevent the move.

Next week’s executive is to discuss the proposal and a report drawn up by senior officers after speaking to councillors says the Post Office should drop the proposals because of problems over access and visibility in the town centre.

Council leader David Ellesmere said: “These proposals are not acceptable. We cannot see why the Post Office should move. It is in a good place and is very accessible especially for people who come into the town centre by bus.

“It is on the same floor of the Sailmakers centre as the bus station and the proposed new location would not be anywhere near as accessible.”

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The Post Office says the proposed location could be accessed from an escalator up or stairs – and there is a lift large enough for 13 people including pushchairs or wheelchairs.

The report to the executive says that if the Post Office is unable to remain in the Sailmakers centre it should look for another prominent site in the town – possible the ground floor of the Old Post Office building on the Cornhill in the unit previously occupied by The Wharf.

The Post Office consultation on its proposed move is due to continue until November 16. If it decides to go ahead with the move into the WH Smith store in Westgate Street that is due to be completed by March next year.

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