Customers in a Norfolk village could soon be sending their post and parcels and paying their bills at the local pub.

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A consultation has started on plans to open a post office in Salhouse, in the Norfolk Broads, at the Bell Inn in the village.

The current post office is based at Tookes shop in Lower Street, Salhouse, but it is due to close later this year. Customers and interested parties are being invited to comment on the move in a six-week public consultation, which runs until March 19.

The new post office, 800 metres away from the current branch, would be open 36 hours longer a week.

It would be based in the pub’s main bar area, but customers would be able to get to the Post Office counter through the back, without walking through the bar.

Pub landlord Steve Hardiman said: “I’m absolutely in favour of it. It’s a shame the village shop and post office is closing, but I hope this could give us a boost.

“It’s a chance to get people inside who normally don’t visit us.

“January and snow are not a good mix for pubs and there have been several pubs round here that have closed recently. Pubs are finding it hard at the moment and this could help us.”

The owner of Tookes, who did not wish to give his name, confirmed that the post office and shop would close later this year, although he said he did not know when.

Post Office regional network manager for South & East, England Mark Lawrence said: “The proposed changes to the branch are part of a three-year investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, that will see about 6000 branches (about half the Post Office network) converting to new-style branches.

“The investment marks a commitment to a no more permanent branch closure programme.”

Opening hours at the proposed new location will be Monday to Sunday: noon to 10.30pm, to tie in with the pub’s opening hours.

The extended opening hours would include Saturday afternoons, Sundays and late-night opening every day.

Submissions can be made during the consultation by Freepost YOUR COMMENTS to Post Office Ltd, via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk, via the customer helpline 08457 22 33 44 or textphone 08457 22 33 55. What do you think of the plans? Email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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