Row over the future of post box which serves Thorpe Island residents
- Credit: Steve Adams
People have asked for an 'unsightly' post box used by Thorpe Island boat owners to be removed.
The simple wooden box, located on River Green, has been used by people and businesses in the area to collect their mail for more than 20 years.
But Thorpe St Andrew Town Council was recently asked to consider removing it by two people.
The issue was discussed during a meeting on Monday, where councillors eventually voted to keep it temporarily in place.
Clerk Thomas Foreman said: 'We have had a number of residents come forward who have objected to there being a postbox on town council land, which at the moment is attached to a telegraph pole and they say looks unsightly.
'The concern from the public has been that in allowing postal services for boats that have no planning permission – as the basin issue develops there will be multiple layers of moorings opposite River Green – that [the post box] will be an attraction for people.'
The complaints come amidst a lengthy legal battle between the Broads Authority and Thorpe Island landowner Roger Wood over historic planning rights.
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Last month the authority sent out 41 eviction notices to those living on Jenner's Basin, prompting more than 3,000 people to sign a petition in support of the boat owners.
Nick South, 52, who lived on the island until April last year, said the latest complaint was another attempt to rid the area of the boat owners.
He told councillors: 'This has obviously nothing to do with anything other than squeezing out the people living on boats.
'It is a contentious issue because this is just a stick to beat the boat dwellers with. It has nothing to do with anything else.'
It was noted during the meeting that if the box was removed, Royal Mail would provide postal services to those who wanted it.
But councillor John Fisher said the council should not have to pay for a replacement.
He added: 'I think if we are going to put it elsewhere, we should not pay for it ourselves, because we receive no income towards our precept from the boat owners.'
Deputy town major Ian Mackie proposed to keep the box in its place, but said it could be moved when the council upgraded River Green as part of a commemorative First World War event later this year.
He added: 'If you remove the box, will it remove the planning issue or the boats? I don't think it will. I don't want to disenfranchise anyone.'
Does a vital service near you face being removed? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.