Post Office confirms closure and franchise of Shoreham branch

Dozens turned up for a rally to save the post office in March
Dozens turned up for a rally to save the post office in March

The Post Office has confirmed it will go ahead with plans to close and franchise Shoreham’s Post Office in Brunswick Road.

The crown office building in Brunswick Road will close on Wednesday, October 4.

A new branch will open at Maxi’s Convenience Store in the High Street on Thursday, October 5.

Roger Gale, Post Office sales and trade marketing director, said that the change will help to ensure the branch is commercially viable into the future and therefore protect Post Office services.

“We are making sure we take the right action to sustain services for years to come,” he said.

The decision follows a six-week public consultation, in which 78 individual representations were received, along with two petitions from customers, the spokesman said.

An online petition against the proposal, started earlier this year, amassed more than 1,600 signatures.

Catherine Arnold, who started the petition, said of the news: “It’s really disappointing.

“It became very evident that the consultation was no such thing – just a tick of the box exercise.

“No one was really interested in the locals’ feedback, so it was disrespectful of residents’ time to give the show that the consultation was genuine.”

Dozens of residents turned up for a rally in March to keep the Post Office in its current building.

Many residents also attended a customer forum held in June, where the main concern raised was over accessibility at the proposed high street branch.

A Post Office spokesman said today: “Working with Maxi’s Convenience Store, the Post Office will ensure accessibility for all its customers, including wheelchair users.

“An automatic entrance door will be installed and the layout will provide sufficiently wide aisles and low-level counters.”

News of the closure of the crown office raises questions over the future of the Post Office building, which is also home to a sorting office.

A spokesman from Royal Mail, which owns the building, confirmed: “Royal Mail has no current plans to move our Shoreham delivery operation from its current site.

“As with all our vacant properties, we will be looking for another occupier once the Post Office vacates the premises.”

An application was made by residents in February to register the Brunswick Road building as an asset of community value, which would have given residents a say if the building were to be put up for sale. 
But the application was rejected because, as the Royal Mail is its ‘statutory undertaker’, the building was considered exempt from listing as a community asset.