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Royal Mail depot wins approval

Blackpool councillor Christine Wright

Blackpool councillor Christine Wright

Royal Mail bosses will have to fund a new bus stop if they are to be allowed to build a new depot in Blackpool.

Councillors concerned about accessibility problems at the planned Faraday Way site in Bispham last night insisted the bus shelter was a condition of approval.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee narrowly voted in favour of the proposal, which would signal a move from the current sorting office in Edward Street.

But while members praised aspects of the design, fears have been raised over the difficulty many residents will face trying to access the new sorting office, including the distance residents without a car would have to walk.

Committee vice-chairman Coun Christine Wright (above), said: “The walk from the bus stop would be far too long for an elderly person or someone disabled.

“I know they can have their parcel re-delivered but that is not the point.

“The site looks great – but not at the expense of our vulnerable people.”

Several councillors echoed those concerns and Royal Mail representatives at the meeting said the company would consider putting up the money to pay for the necessary changes to improve access.

Adrian Fielding, Royal Mail delivery director, said package delivery will make up a small part of the operation at the new site and customers will have a range of options, including free re-delivery of parcels or having them sent to town centre post offices for collection.

He added: “The current site does not allow us to provide a world class service.

“There will be no job losses and this will place our business on a sound and stable footing for the future.”

Coun David Owen, chairman of the committee, said; “We have all been impressed by the layout of the building but we have got a responsibility to the local community to try to get this right.”

Councillors voted five to four on an amended proposal to grant permission with the conditions suggested by planners, along with an amendment to include provision of a bus shelter.

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