A PORTABLE building in a car park could be a temporary solution to the loss of Marlow's High Street post office, the town council says.

The proposal would mean the loss of six car parking spaces, but councillors say it is a necessary measure while the High Street branch remains closed.

The branch shut in April forcing customers to travel all the way to High Wycombe or Maidenhead for the nearest full-service post office.

The latest proposal was revealed at Marlow Town Council's Finance Services Committee meeting on Wednesday.

Howard Bellairs, council clerk, said the portable building idea had been initially refused by Wycombe District Council after an approach was made by Post Office Ltd. But he insisted it was the best way forward and that pressure from the town council could change the situation.

He said: "I think Post Office Ltd, when they got in touch with Wycombe were dismissed by an officer acting in good faith on the grounds that there was problems with parking spaces.

"But I suggest, coming via the town council or our cabinet representative, that more pressure could be applied from the town council because, at the moment, there is so few opportunities for the post office to get in the High Street.

"And certainly a unit here in Pound Lane would serve very useful perhaps."

The meeting heard that the closure had made Oak Tree Road post office more busy, but the branch did not offer a full range of services and not everyone could access it.

Cllr Frank Sweatman, chairman, said: "Clearly it is not acceptable that we as a town should be without a town centre post office."

He added: "I think the only suitable car park would be Riley Road. Everyone goes to Waitrose and I think we should be specific."

The portable building would measure 14 by eight metres. Members agreed to approach the district council and ask for spaces to be provided at a reasonable rent. However, no decision has been taken as to which car park could be used.

Cllr Richard Scott, town mayor, said: "Despite what this officer says, it is quite a big unit and it is a lot of spaces, but nevertheless, a post office is equally desirable to residents and businesses."

The High Street branch shut after new tenants bought the lease. The idea of a temporary post office service being provided at the Area Information Centre was turned down recently.

Becky Wotherspoon, district council spokesman, said: "Due to the size of the portakabin required, and in order to ensure continued usability of the site, this would involve between ten and 20 car parking spaces becoming unusable and as such the council has initially expressed some concerns regarding the use of a car park for this purpose.

"This proposal does require further investigation, in particular more information on the exact requirements of this service."

James Taylor, Royal Mail spokesman, said: "We are hoping to hear back from Wycombe District Council on suitable sites."