A former post office could be used by a North East taxi firm under new plans submitted to South Tyneside Council.
Newcastle-based private hire firm, Blue Line Services Ltd, has submitted a ‘change of use’ application for 59 Westoe Road, South Shields.
If approved, the building would become a taxi/private hire booking office open to the public between 6am – 10pm.
The building was one of four South Tyneside post offices axed as part of a national shake-up in 2008, which the Government blamed on a decline in customers.
Other post offices affected at the time included Station Road Post Office in East Boldon, Victoria Road West Post Office in Hartleyburn Avenue, Hebburn and Harton Village Post Office in South Shields.
A planning document reveals the Westoe site was sold to Blueline on April 24, 2018 with the company submitting an application the following month.
The times the public are able to access the office were also reduced after a review by Blue Line Service Ltd management.
Managing director, Ian Shanks, in a letter to council planners, stated hours were restricted after considering other commercial premises in the area and needs of local residents.
“Although this means our offices would close to the public earlier than the local pubs close, these hours fit in with the staff shift patterns operated across the rest of our offices of 6am-2pm and 2pm – 10pm daily,” he said.
If planning permission is granted, company signs will be placed at the site.
With the application currently at the registration stage, the final decision will be made by council officers or a planning committee in future.
Consultation has already started on the application and comments can be made before the June 28 deadline.
For more information on the application, search reference number ST/0478/18/FUL in South Tyneside Council’s planning portal or visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk.
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service