A POST office which closed despite the pleas of 7,000 campaigners could now become a laundrette.

The Western Road Crown Post Office in Hove closed in February despite a 7,000 strong petition and more than 400 responses to a public consultation.

Former customers of the post office in the heart of Brunswick town now have to traipse half a mile uphill to the Melville Road site the facility merged with or use the busy crown post offices at Churchill Square which took on extra staff following the closure.

Now a planning application has been submitted to turn the former post office into a laundrette.

Campaigners claim the replacement of the post office with a laundrette will harm the area’s standing as a busy retail centre.

Green councillor Ollie Sykes, ward member for Brunswick, said: “When we discussed what came next for the post office, people really didn’t want it to be another agent estates.

“It’s nothing against estate agents, but we wanted something to come in that would keep Western Road a thriving retail centre with shops that people wanted to come to.

“People would come here for the post office and then visit neighbouring shops and you won’t get the same footfall from a laundrette.

“There’s also concern that with a sui generis application, is it going to be a laundrette or could it become a residential property which would take us further away from the area being a retail destination.”

Cllr Sykes also drew parallels with the loss of the post office and the potential loss of the library in the Carnegie building in Church Road.

He said: “The Post Office insisted all along they were not closing the post office but merging it.

“But if you go to the post office now, it is not merged, it is a closed building, so there’s an issue about the weasely language of institutions.”

Hove MP Peter Kyle said: “I'm surprised there's demand for a launderette there as the one I use is 50 yards away and there's another slightly further along Western Road towards town.

“However, the important thing is that the building is put to use for the community as soon as possible and that means no betting shop please."

A decision on the planning application is expected in June.