Plans to relocate the Post Office from McAnerney’s Supermarket in Armagh to the Spar at Killylea Road have been approved.
No decision has been taken yet on when the move will happen.
But the Post Office has revealed the outcome of a public consultation, which began before Christmas and ran until the end of last month, and it has found in favour of the relocation.
The facility will become what is described as a “main style branch” when it moves from Irish Street with services available during retail hours at Spar, including Sundays.
Regional Change Manager Kenny Lamont has notified customers of developments by letter.
He said: “ased on the feedback received during the local public consultation, we have conducted a further review of our proposal and we are satisfied that the new branch is suitably located and will continue to meet customer needs, whilst helping to provide for long term viability and future sustainability for Post Office service provision in the local community.”
A total of 85 responses were received and these mainly centred on distance, parking and traffic congestion, security and privacy, and staff training.
In relation to the distance – the main issue – the determination says the new premises are located approximately 700 metres from the previous site.
And it adds: “With any relocation it is inevitable that whilst some customers will have an easier journey to the new location, regrettably others will have further to travel.
“In terms of pedestrian access to the new location, there are well maintained pavements, with dropped kerbs along the route from the current site.”
In terms of comments raised about parking and peak time traffic congestion in the surrounding area, it is stated that this is a “problem faced generally in many locations nationwide”, and while the “availability of parking spaces is outside the direct control of Post Office Limited”, there is “parking available at the new premises”.
Turning to security and privacy the determination adds: “Our operator plans to incorporate a new modern Post Office into their store which will be carefully integrated inside, ensuring sufficient space, security and privacy for both Post Office and retail customers.
“The main style branch will be built to high Post Office specification and there will be three serving positions, which will be a mixture of one screened position and one open plan serving position, with a Post Office serving point provided for use at the retail counter and available during shop opening hours.
“We have been working closely with the operator to plan the interior layout, to ensure optimum use of the space within the store and that access into and inside the store is kept clear and free of obstacles.
“Aisles will be kept free from obstructions and adequate room will be provided for customers, prams and wheelchairs to move around the store.”
In terms of staff training, is says anyone working in Post Office transactions will have @completed compliance training for a number of areas, including data protection and mail handling”.
Further details on the time and logistics of the move will be made available when finalised.