ROYAL Mail has submitted plans to demolish Croydon's delivery office and replace it with a towering block of flats almost twice the height of the Nestlé building.
Postal bosses told the Advertiser this week they hope to have quit the landmark Addiscombe Road base by the end of the year in favour of a new centre on the Wandle Park Trading Estate.
An initial planning application submitted to Croydon Council details plans for 240 flats, 40 parking spaces and 1,800 square metres of retail space in a 132-metre high complex.
But it claims the buildings "would not be out of character with the surroundings" which is a "densely developed urban area".
And it claims contractors would "minimise any risk of pollutants" while construction is ongoing.
The move to Factory Lane comes as Royal Mail faces what it describes as "increasingly tough trading conditions".
But the company insisted that the decision would not result in a loss of jobs.
Steve Selby, Royal Mail's delivery director for Croydon, said: "We have been searching for a more suitable site for our Croydon delivery office for some time as the current site is no longer fit for purpose.
"The proposed site is a modern building conveniently located between our existing delivery office and Croydon mail centre.
"The move would give Royal Mail the opportunity to modernise our delivery operations in Croydon and continue to provide a first-class service to our customers."
Spokesman Sally Hopkin said: "We are now discussing this planned move with our staff and trade unions to ensure a smooth transition for our people and our business.
"We have submitted a technical screening application in connection with the site in Addiscombe Road. This is a preliminary step in exploring alternative uses for the land when it is no longer needed for our operations.
"We expect the new site will be operational from late 2013.
"Further details will be communicated to customers nearer the time and we do not expect there will be any impact to the services we provide to our customers in Croydon."