One of Knaresborough’s two post offices is set to close when Lidl builds a new store on the former Co-op site in Chain Lane.
The Post Office Local will remain open over the next few months, but the German supermarket chain has confirmed that it is not planning to incorporate the branch into its new store.
James Hanna, from Lidl’s acquisitions team, said: “We are aware that the current Post Office Local in Chain Lane is used by the local community. While it is not part of our proposals, as Lidl does not currently provide concessions in our stores, the post office will remain open and trading for a number of months.”
The news has come as a blow to Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, who has urged Lidl to keep it in the store following the closure of the Co-op on November 25.
He said: “This is a matter of regret and I am certain that local people will back my view that they should reconsider this decision.”
However, Mr Jones added that Lidl was considering the future use of its current store in York Road and has cited it as a potential location for a second post office.
He said: “The location is poorer for most people than at Chain Lane so this is certainly not the best option.”
Five years ago Mr Jones, councillors and residents led a campaign to bring a new post office to Knaresborough following the closure of branches in Stockwell Lane and Aspin.
“In June 2011 a Post Office Local opened in the Co-op.
Mr Jones said: “I am sure that many are grateful to Lidl for their investment in Knaresborough, which brings jobs and cash into the economy.
“Even at this late stage they could make the decision to add value to this investment by keeping the Post Office Local on Chain Lane.
“I hope that local people join me and make that view clear to Lidl as part of their consultation on the new store.”
Lidl invited residents to a public exhibition at the Chain Lane Community Centre yesterday to give members of the community a chance to air their views on the proposals to build the replacement store.
Following the closure of the Co-op in November, Lidl purchased the site with the intention of submitting a planning application for a 1,690 sq m supermarket. The plans would replace Lidl’s current store on York Road.
Mr Hanna said: “Our current store on York Road is very popular but it does no longer meet the needs of our future business model.
“Therefore, as part of our national property expansion programme, we would like to build a new larger store in Knaresborough, to enhance the customer experience and provide the full Lidl high-quality product range.
“The new store would create between 20-25 new job opportunities and all existing Lidl employees would transfer to the new store.”
l For further information on Lidl’s proposals, call the consultation hotline on 0800 040 8404.