Hammersmith & Fulham Council opposes the relocation of the Crown Post Office in Shepherds Bush Green to WHSmith in Westfield shopping centre.
Instead, the council has called on Post Office Ltd to keep the busy branch in Shepherds Bush Green in an accessible ground-floor retail unit.
The branch must move from its current home of 65-69 The Green as the owners of the building are evicting its tenants ahead of re-developing the site.
The nearby West12 Centre would provide the ideal solution after both HSBC and Morrison’s announced they were leaving the centre. Relocating the prestigious Crown Post Office branch to the centre would help attract customers and offer better access to residents.
“Moving the post office into Westfield is a real threat to the long-term economic success of Shepherds Bush town centre,” says Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration. “But relocating it to the W12 Centre would make much more sense and would ensure the centre continues to thrive as it looks for new tenants.”
It came as local residents voiced their concerns to the council that moving it to WHSmith in Westfield would make it much harder to visit.
“It is unthinkable,” said Sylvia Edwards, 50, of Shepherds Bush Road. “It is so much better to come to a proper post office. No one will be able to get into WHSmith – it is so inconvenient.”
Her views were echoed by self-employed Mustafa Sabri, 41, of Sundew Avenue, White City. “I don’t think it’s a very good idea,” he said. “WHSmith seems a bit small.”
Local group agrees
H&F Council’s call for the post office to relocated to the West12 Centre was strongly backed by the Hammersmith & Fulham Historic Buildings Group.
“Having a post office located in the rear of the WHSmith in Westfield is not an option for the elderly, partially-sighted, and those with mobility problems,” said Vice Chair Annabel Clarke.
“There must be a better solution and we agree that the post office should relocate to the West12 Centre.”
Post Office respond
The blueprint for the new service includes five counters – of which four will be open-plan and one a traditional screened position.
Roger Gale, Crown Post Office and WHSmith network general manager, responded to the concerns about space in the new store by stating: “We will be working with WHSmith to ensure there are sufficiently wide, clear aisles and there is adequate space for post office customers, including wheelchair users, so they can easily access the post office area.”
And Mr Gale added that talks with WHSmith included extending the current 10am opening time to 9am, to reflect that offered by the Post Office on The Green.
Have your say
A consultation on the proposed move is open until 7 December and you can submit your views online at www.postofficeviews.co.uk, by phone on 03457 22 33 44 or by post to FREEPOST Your Comments.