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Plans for post office alongside vegan shop and café approved on town estate

PUBLISHED: 11:38 13 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:32 15 March 2019

Allison Knight, who will bring her business to St Olaves Precinct Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE

Allison Knight, who will bring her business to St Olaves Precinct Picture: ST NICHOLAS HOSPICE CARE

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A Bury St Edmunds estate could see the return of its post office after plans were given the green light.

St Olaves Precinct in Bury St Edmunds Picture: GOOGLE MAPSSt Olaves Precinct in Bury St Edmunds Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

A planning application for a vegan café and post office at 6 St Olaves Precinct on the town’s Howard estate was approved by St Edmundsbury Borough Council yesterday.

The former post office at the precinct closed in February 2017 and is now a Papa John’s pizza outlet.

MORE: Post office could return with vegan shop and grocers

Allison Knight, 52, owner of Allison’s Eatery, said she is “excited and scared” about her new vegan shop venture at the popular precinct.

“It was great to get planning permission,” she said. “I’ll hopefully sign the lease in the next few weeks and fingers crossed everything will go well.

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants, who campaigned strongly against the closure of the post office said he is crossing his fingers for its return Picture: RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHOTOGRAPHYErnie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants, who campaigned strongly against the closure of the post office said he is crossing his fingers for its return Picture: RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHOTOGRAPHY

“I am excited and a bit scared. It’s a big risk but I love a challenge and hopefully it will be everything people expect and want it to be.”

The mother-of-two, who is originally from Liverpool, moved to Bury in 1997 and worked on aircraft engines at RAF Honington.

She moved to Kennett, near Newmarket, last year and currently runs her mobile vegan catering service on Bury St Edmunds market.

Mrs Knight said she will begin the application with the Post Office for a new branch to go alongside her vegan business later in the year.

“I will do my utmost to get a post office because I know how badly the community want it back,” she said.

“The post office application process is a bit long-winded and might take a bit of time, but I’m planning to get started on it once I’ve had the shop open for a couple of months.

“I will be giving it my all and trying my very best to get it back.”

MORE: St Olaves post office in Bury St Edmunds closed suddenly and put on the market

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants, said he was “crossing his fingers” that a post office would return to the estate.

“I really hope we get it back,” he said.

“It’s a great service to the community and in my opinion, we should have never have lost it in the first place.

“People don’t realise that for a lot of elderly and vulnerable people, the only time they get to speak to someone is in the queue at the post office.

“It’s very important to the community, so I hope it comes off and fingers crossed it will.”

Paul Hopfensperger, borough councillor for St Olaves ward, said: “This is the biggest issue that I have been working toward over the past two years.

“People want their post office back. I’m very excited for people on the estate that we are now close to making this happen.”

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