HUNDREDS of residents have objected to a plans to change the use of an empty shop in Droitwich into a veterinary practice, in hopes of returning it to its former glory as a local post office.

The planning application, which is due to be decided later this month by the Wychavon district planning committee, would see Witton Post Office on the corner of Worcester Road and Tagwell Road converted into a vets, something which nearby business owners and local residents have objected to.

The old post office closed down approximately 18 months ago, and for the past six months, the manager of a nearby newsagents, Raj Patel has worked to become accredited as a post master in hopes of taking the business on.

However, only days after he received his accreditation, the planning application was submitted for the veterinary practice, before he had a chance to secure a lease for the premises.

Now a petition has been signed by 315 residents to urge the council to reject the planning application and let the site return to its former use as a post office.

Resident Terry Mailer has been helping to gather signatures. He said: “It’s been a post office there for as long as I can remember. We’ve got a main post office in Droitwich, which isn’t adequate in my opinion for traffic for the area. I’ve known people go as far as Tibberton to use the post office there. The one at Witton was fantastic. Old folks used to get their pensions, it was always there for people who needed it.

“I’ve got three dogs, but I don’t want a vets there. The parking would be terrible. It’s bad enough now getting on and off my drive. The post office was a wonderful thing to have and we’ve absolutely missed it since it’s gone.”

More than 50 individuals have also submitted letters and emails objecting to the plans on the Wychavon District Council planning site.

A letter from Alexander Wing said: “I understand that there is a proposal to reopen the post office as a post office which is a service that OAPs such as my wife and I desperately need and whilst we would be happy for any use to be made of the empty property we hope that the reopening of a post office would be given priority over all other applications.”

A letter from Howard Brennan said: “Many older people such as my wife and I miss this facility so much. Now it is hard for us to cater to our needs by having to reach the main post office. Our bus stop is too far away to reach by walking, so the car parking at this location is ideal.”

Objections have also been lodged by Droitwich Town Council, and by town and district councillor Bob Brookes, who said: “I think this change of use would be totally inappropriate for this building, given its location.”

The application (reference no.00664) is due to go before Wychavon planning committee on Thursday, May 22.