PLANS to bring back a much-needed village post office to Lower Broadheath have been officially submitted to Malvern Hills District Council chiefs.
Mark Glossop, chair of the Lower Broadheath Community Shop committee group, has tabled a proposal to open up a post office and community store on the garden grounds of The Bell Inn on Martley Road for a temporary period of five years.
The application has been met by overwhelming support from residents who believe the new store would ‘greatly benefit’ the Lower Broadheath community, especially older people.
A decision on the project is expected to be made in January next year and if approved, the committee is targeting to open the store in the Spring.
“It is good to see things are moving along steadily,” Mr Glossop told the Observer.
“The owners of The Bell Inn have agreed in principle to have the post office and store on their grounds.
“And we are also hopeful of doing a deal with the those who ran the Alfrick village store to move their portacabin to Lower Broadheath at the end of February.
“It would take a month or two to get things up and running but we hope to get going in the Spring.”
Lower Broadheath had been left without a post office for five months after the store on Martley Road closed its doors in May.
This meant villagers had to travel to Worcester city centre or the Moseley Turn in Hallow for a postal service.
A mobile post office was put in place in October on the car park at The Bell Inn on Martley Road but that only operates for three hours a week.
With vital services severely limited, a committee was formed so work could begin on trying to open a new village post office and convenience store.
By working with The Plunkett Foundation – the group which helps rural communities to take control of the issues affecting them through community ownership – the committee had been able to put together a business plan for the project which is expected to cost about £75,000.
“We think we can get the planning application approved but the big task then is to raise the money we need to fund it,” said Mr Glossop.
“Our target for money raised from within the village is £25,000 and I think we can hit that.
“The support for a community shop and post office is there but it is just a matter getting the funding.”
Visit www.lowerbroadheathshop.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to donate and get involved.