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Community delight as post office set to return along with vegan cafe and grocers

PUBLISHED: 16:41 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 25 January 2019

Ernie Broom is delighted that a post office is returning to St Olaves precinct on the Howard estate in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ARCHANT

Ernie Broom is delighted that a post office is returning to St Olaves precinct on the Howard estate in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A community leader has hailed the potential return of a post office to a Bury St Edmunds housing estate following a two-year absence.

Ernie Broom (left) with Paul Hopfensperger after the councillor presented him with an award Picture: BECCY HOPFENSPERGERErnie Broom (left) with Paul Hopfensperger after the councillor presented him with an award Picture: BECCY HOPFENSPERGER

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants, said it is “fantastic news” that a post office could return to St Olaves Precinct.

A planning application has been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council for a change of use to form a post office as well as a vegan grocers and cafe at 6 St Olaves on the Howard estate.

Previous tenants Hubbard’s Butchers and Fine Foods moved from the precinct to larger premises on Moreton Hall last year.

Mr Broom, who campaigned strongly against the closure of the precinct’s post office in February 2017, said: “We’re so chuffed that the post office is coming back. I can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t go through.

Allison Knight, owner of Allisons Eatery, will launch a vegan cafe and shop  Picture: SUBMITTEDAllison Knight, owner of Allisons Eatery, will launch a vegan cafe and shop Picture: SUBMITTED

“It’s fantastic news, the post office is such an important part of the community. It’s a place where people can get out and socialise and has been missed by a lot of people on the estate.

“We’re thrilled about the news, everybody wants it back.”

Allison Knight, of Allison’s Eatery, who is hoping to bring her business to the parade, said: “I wanted to help the local community. It was such a shame they lost their post office.

“Everyone has been really positive about it and it seems to be getting a lot of attention on Facebook.

“Hopefully once we get planning permission, things will move quite quickly.”

Paul Hopfensperger, independent district councillor for St Olaves ward, said he discussed the possibility of a post office with Mrs Knight last year.

“It’s fantastic, it’s all systems go,” he said.

“After two-odd years without a post office, we’re finally getting it back.

“I had a long discussion with Allison last year about what she was doing and I said ‘is there any chance we can get a post office as well?’

“There’s been no negative comments at all, everybody wants it.”

Max Clarke, Labour district councillor for St Olaves ward and chairman of the St Olaves Precinct Business Forum, said: “It will be a real community hub and the cafe will bring a social element.

“We have a lot of elderly people on the estate who moved from London in the 1960s, so getting to the post office in Lake Avenue was really difficult for some of them.

“We hopeful we’ll have a real success on our hands.”

Pizza outlet Papa John’s recently opened its doors at 9 St Olaves Precinct, which was the site of the parade’s former post office.

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