A Herefordshire village’s former post office and shop will remain after its owners were told they must try harder to sell it as a retail business.

Occupying part of the ground floor of a grade II-listed half-timbered house, the post office in Cradley, near Malvern, has been closed since 2013.

But its owners have now been told they can’t turn it into part of the house in order to sell the whole property together.

The estate agent’s particulars for the premises, still available online, describe it as “a detached period house and former post office (with shop)”, on offer at £450,000.

Both the village’s neighbourhood development plan and the county plan require such community facilities to be marketed for at least a year to establish whether they might be commercially viable, or for alternative facilities to be provided.

Cradley & Storridge Parish Council pointed out that the village has already lost its tea shop, craft gallery and now potentially its butcher’s shop over the past year, leaving the village with “no other community facilities trading”.


Herefordshire Council’s planning officer said a ‘pop-up’ post office at Cradley village hall, which operates one morning and afternoon per week, “appears as an appropriate size and quality to constitute another alternative facility”.

However he agreed with the parish council that the asking price was “not realistic” and that the applicant had not marketed the business premises separately from the rest of the property.

Those interested in solely buying a shop or community facility “were likely faced with an asking price of £450,000, including the dwelling”, he said.

“Assessment of the suitability of the site for other community uses has not been pursued,” he added.

Nine residents submitted objections to the change of use, with one in favour. The application for a change of use was refused.