December 4 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Friday, January 4, 2013
BOROUGH chiefs have suggested that the town’s sorting office could move to a new site in a bid to ensure that the Royal Mail does not close it altogether.
And the council has even offered sites it owns as potential homes for a larger sorting office to serve Suffolk and north Essex.
As a sweetener it has offered to negotiate a new deal with the Royal Mail to allow it to move out of its Commercial Road site – providing it retains a sorting office in the town.
Two sites that the borough owns are in Scrivener Drive, next to Suffolk One, and the former park and ride site at Bury Road.
Another option which has been suggested to the Royal Mail is to build a new sorting office in Futura Park – the new business estate where John Lewis and Waitrose opened in November.
Mr Ellesmere said: “At the moment the Royal Mail are gathering facts about the sorting office – but in our talks we did raise the issue of other potential sites if they are concerned that Commercial Road is not large enough for their purposes.”
The talks did not discuss the possibility of retaining a base in or near the town centre for customers to collect parcels.
It could be expensive for the Royal Mail to walk away from Commercial Road if it does not move to a new site in the town – the sorting office is owned by the borough and the rent reflects the importance of the office to the town.
However if Royal Mail wanted to walk away from the site without opening a new sorting office in the town, they could be charged the market rent to break the contract – and that could be very expensive.
If the sorting office does move from Commercial Road, the large site would then be redeveloped – it would probably be marketed as a retail or office site on the main walking route between the town centre and the railway station.
It could be attractive as a redevelopment site because it is next to Cardinal Park and the new Tesco store that is due to be built in Grafton Way next year.
What do you think? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org