New shop and tea room to open in axed Post Office

Plans have been approved to convert a former village post office into a tea room and shop.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 4:06 pm
Elwick Village Post Office.
Elwick Village Post Office.

Now plans have been approved by Hartlepool Borough Council planning officers for the shop to reopen, with a new tea room at the site.

Proposals, submitted on behalf of applicant John Derek Cooper, said there was a demand for a shop in the village, but the tea room use was needed to make it sustainable.

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“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,” it stated.

“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.”

Brian Walker, chairman of the Hartlepool Rural Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, backed the proposals.

He said: “Although regretting the loss of a post office in Elwick the group fully support this application as it retains the only retail shop of its kind located in and serving Elwick Village.”

Elwick Parish Council was also strongly in favour of the plans.

In its response to the plans, it said: “This is a very important development for the village, saving the shop from permanent closure and adding a further service, which will provide employment opportunities and meets the needs of this rural area.”

Mr Cooper bought the property, which sits on the south side of the green, in late 2018 and is carryingout a complete redecoration.