Plans to re-open shop and create tea rooms at former village Post Office

Plans have been submitted to convert a former village post office into a tea rooms and reopen a shop at the site.

Thursday, 18th April 2019, 5:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th April 2019, 6:09 pm
Elwick Village Post Office. Picture by FRANK REID

Proposals have gone to Hartlepool Borough Council for the building on The Green in Elwick.

The plans, submitted by applicant John Derek Cooper who lives in the village, states historically the site was a small village shop with an inclusive Post Office facility, selling a range of food items and newspapers.

However after the Post Office use ceased the existing site became unsustainable and the property finally closed its doors in 2016.

But now Mr Cooper wants to see the shop reopen, along with opening a new tea rooms at the site.

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A design and access statement on behalf of the applicant states there is a demand for such facilities in the village.

It said: “It is proposed that the shop aspect will continue to sell newspapers and food supplies, the proposed use however will be supported by the in-house coffee shop and cakes/ cheeses etc.

“The proposal seeks to confirm that in its current approved use the building [is] no longer economically viable as a shop due to the loss of the Post Office support.

“There is a demand for the existing facility, but this must be supported by seeking alternative sales revenue, hence the proposal to create a tea/ coffee shop with a small designated table area for meeting up, an intrinsic requirement of small rural areas.

“We hope to create an informal meeting area where local residents of Elwick can meet for refreshment and conversation.”

The property was purchased by the applicant in late 2018 and is undergoing complete redecoration and is at an advanced stage.

Both the shop and the tea rooms would be open from 7am until 9pm and create one full-time job and two part-time roles, according to the plans.

The property is located on the south side of the village green between The Spotted Cow Public House and immediately adjacent to the McOrville Public House.

To comment on the application visit the Hartlepool Borough Council planning portal online and search reference number H/2019/0138.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service