PLANS to upgrade a Cheshire community post office and village shop have been given the green light.

Applicants Ronald and Helen Groves, who run Threapwood Post Office near the England-Wales border in the village of Threapwood, had submitted plans via agent Tecwyn Williams to revamp the old Smithy Filling Station, to provide a larger village shop for customers.

In the planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council, Mr Groves said he and his wife had lived and worked at the property for 32 years and customers' orders are delivered to eight small villages daily.

This had increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Post Office section growing substantially as online shoppers generated a large number of parcels and post, meaning space was at a premium in the post office.

In addition, refrigeration storage space became an issue with people ordering chilled and frozen foods.

Mr Groves wrote: "Our existing shop at present is in need of considerable renovation and structural work. The plan to extend our garage into a larger shop would be more suited to our business.

"This, we believe, would give our customers the opportunity to purchase a greater range of chilled and dry products.

"It would also be sited in a safer area away from the main highway. Parking has always been a concern and this also would be remedied, with a large parking area and entrance with wheelchair access."

The garage building, built about 28 years ago, had been redundant for the last six years and was currently being used for storage of gardening equipment and domestic items.

Submitted plans showed the building would be converted and extended. The existing post office and village shop would close and be incorporated into the house, while the new post office would be placed in the converted garage, and the larger shop would be created in the extension, with new wheelchair access and car park.

Threapwood Parish Council said it "strongly" supported the application, noting that the nearest Post Office and shop besides the current site was four miles away, and "as climate change mitigation measures begin to take effect and travel become more expensive, residents will need to rely more on their local shop."

The proposal "would improve both road safety and visibility by providing off-road parking for the shop's customers," the parish council added.

Chester Cycling Campaign noted there was a lack of cycle storage in the proposed plans.

Cheshire West and Chester Council approved the plans, subject to a number of conditions relating to development.