300 support pub post office plan

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SOME 300 people have signed their support for a pub to build a post office and shop.

Angela Crocker, licensee of The Chestnut Horse pub in Great Finborough needed letters of support for her planning application to demolish a disused building next to the pub and replace it with a farm shop and post office so they kept forms on the bar for people to sign.

“People were coming in just to sign it,” she said. “They weren’t just from Finborough, they were coming from Buxhall and Hitcham. What people were saying to us is that the nearest post office is a five mile round trip.”

The village has been without a post office since one in Chaplins Newsagents closed on January 19. Ms Crocker says the Post Office and Great Finborough Parish Council are supporting the application, which has gone to Mid Suffolk Council.

The pub is listed, but the old store and garage they want to demolish is not.

“It’s totally unsuitable for a shop and is falling down,” Ms Crocker said. “We need to replace it with something in keeping with the pub.

“We’ve got a pretty pub and don’t want to do anything that would take away from that.”

Small ‘outreach’ post offices in pubs have been tried elsewhere, but Ms Crocker said The Chestnut Horse was too small for one. In addition, the village had no general store, so a shop selling local produce would be a welcome addition.

They hope to get funding from the Pub is the Hub scheme, part of Prince Charles’ Rural Action Programme.