S-store buys post office?

PUBLISHED: 01:01 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

RUMOURS abound that secret talks will lead to Exmouth's Magnolia Centre post office and sorting office becoming a supermarket site with the company seeking to relocate deliveries to a new district sorting office. It is thought the ASDA group currently

RUMOURS abound that secret talks will lead to Exmouth's Magnolia Centre post office and sorting office becoming a supermarket site - with the company seeking to relocate deliveries to a new district sorting office.It is thought the ASDA group - currently finalising plans for an estuary-side superstore and community development featuring flats, a library and sports centre - could also swallow the town's main post office branch, writes Robin Leeburn.Unconfirmed reports suggest the current Magnolia Centre post office has been sold for more than £2 million to unknown developers. The Post Office Ltd, which denies the rumours, is thought to be planning a single sorting depot for Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Woodbury and Lympstone - set for Liverton Business Park within the next 18 months.It is understood Budleigh's High Street depot has also been sold for a seven-figure sum.A Post Office Ltd spokesperson said: "We look at properties we have on a regular basis, but haven't got any immediate plans for our delivery offices or [that] post office."Clinton Devon Estates - which own the Liverton Business Park - says there is no space for a sorting office, though Clinton Devon is considering an extension below the B&Q store.Clinton Devon retained agent Malcolm Williams said: "At the present time there is not the space available that the post office would need. We are promoting an extension, and perhaps someone has put one and one together and got three."As Exmouth gears itself up for much-vaunted regeneration and redevelopment, the current Magnolia Centre post office branch represents an attractive site for developers.EDDC has stated the London Inn Car Park site remains a target for town centre development - the sorting office lying on a prime spot at the entrance to the area.Post office branches are currently located in 20 ASDA stores nationwide, the nearest being in Plymouth. ASDA's press office said: "We are at a very early stage for plans for a new store and are eager to hear local views, such as about the need for a post office."The plans for the bus depot site include not only a store, but community facilities and other retail facilities, which may prove suitable for post office use in the future."Budleigh's High Street sorting office is located on the ground floor of a building in a prime retail spot. Mail for Woodbury is currently picked up in Exeter and taken back to the village, while Lympstone mail is sorted in Exmouth.

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