Mark Lazarowicz MP has expressed concerns about the proposal announced by the Post Office to move its main central Edinburgh Crown Post Office from the St James Centre to Princes Mall (previously ‘Waverley Market’).
He said: “The new location will certainly be less convenient for most people living in my constituency.
“I realise that the uncertainty over the timescale for the redevelopment of the St James Centre will affect the Post Office like other shops in the Centre, and clearly nobody would want to run the risk of no alternative site being available at the time the Centre started being redeveloped. However, I would certainly like to see the Post Office pursuing the option of staying in the St James Centre until there is a definite go-ahead. After all, the start date for redevelopment of the Centre has already been put back a number of times, and there doesn’t seem any indication that work will be starting there any time soon.
“If the Post Office does move out of the St James Centre, I hope that the Post Office would look at the option of moving back once any redevelopment is completed.
“And if the move to Princes Mall does go ahead, I urge the Post Office to consider providing extra capacity in the Elm Row Post Office, which is likely to become used more frequently by at least some of their customers who currently use the St James Centre Post Office.
“There is now a 6 week consultation and I would urge any constituents with concerns to let the Post Office know their views. Details of how to take part in the consultation are given in the attached letter. I would obviously be interested in knowing constituents’ views on the proposal as well so that I can feed them into the Post Office consultation”.
The owners of the St James Centre applied for planning permission which was granted on 4 June 2009 when it will run out unless renewed before then. The Shopping Centre and the former Scottish Office building next door were supposed to be redeveloped by no, but the work has been delayed, apparently due to the economic downturn.
Henderson Global Investors who own the centre have not yet started the demolition and £850m rebuild of the property, although they say they are committed to the development. The plan is to form 104 houses, 2 new hotels. 1800 underground parking spaces, offices, cafes, restaurants and shops on the site. The 1970s building is generally regarded as ugly, and Hendersons want to develop the site into a leading shopping centre.
This is an overview of their proposals:-