LOCALS were dismayed after the Post Office announced it is closing its branch inside the former Co-op store in Lydney next month.

The company says a new branch will be opened on the outskirts of town at the new Co-op store on Highfield Road at a date to be announced “as soon as possible”.

The vacancy to operate a Post Office in the town centre is now being advertised, and the company wants to hear from interested retailers.

But in a Facebook post from Lydney Town Council on Facebook sharing the news, residents slammed Post Office leadership for not finding a town centre premises sooner, having surely known a closure was imminant when an agreement was made for the sale of the building in September last year.

There are also concerns the Highfield Road branch will be inaccessible to elderly residents and those who don’t drive.

The timescale given also means Lydney could be left without a Post Office altogether for a period, with the company advising that residents use the nearest branches in Yorkley and Bream in the meantime.

The current office will close on Wednesday, April 19 at 5.30pm.

A statement from the company said: “The provision of a Post Office service to our customers is important to us, and we will continue to work hard to restore services in the immediate area.”

One person commented on the town council’s post about the news: “Typical leadership, they have known about the closure for well over 12 months, and have not thought about relocating.

“Plenty empty shops close to the old Co-op, could of been working from there seamlessly. Perhaps it is how the post office views our town”.

A second said: “Another service taken out of our town”, and added of the Highfield Road store: “People queuing on the road is bad now so lord nows how far the queues will be. Surely there is a better place than this in Lydney.”

A third commented: “It’s so wrong to take the Post Office out of the town.

“All well and good for all the people that live in new housing.what are the elderly going to do plus people that pay there bills there.”

A spokesperson for Lydney Town Council said: “Lydney Town Council are disappointed to learn that the Post Office has been unable to secure a permanent central location in Lydney. This is disappointing not only for the community but also the staff that were employed.

“We are grateful to the Coop on Highfield hill, for accommodating a temporary service within their convenience store, but worry that some users will find this location inaccessible as it quite far from the original location. We hope an existing town business can accommodate this vital amenity or room can be found within a future town centre business to re-home the Lydney Post Office”.

Details of the vacancy can be found here.

The Co-op in the centre of town closed last September after a buyer for the building emerged.

The store had been identified as not fitting in with the Midcounties Cooperative’s long-term plans in a 2020 review.

The Post Office and Co-op Pharmacy at the site have remained open since then.

In December, Lydney Health Centre and Severnbanks Surgery announced plans to convert the building into a state-of-the-art medical centre.

The new health centre will house both practices and deliver some NHS services currently provided at Lydney Hospital.

Developers said they were looking to submit planning early this year, and would aim to start the build in December.

The plans also include the retention of the existing Co-op pharmacy, subject to a separate licensing process.