A developer behind plans to turn a former post office into flats has defended the scheme against claims it would encourage anti-social behaviour.

Anglesey Council has received an application to transform Holyhead’s former crown post office into eight flats, with the building having been empty for the past five years.

But the move has sparked local opposition, with the owner of the children’s nursery next door claiming that it could force them to move due to concerns over anti-social behaviour

Alex McGinn, who employs 29 members of staff at Newry Nursery, said this week that changing the building from commercial to single resident flats would “change the whole dimensions” of Boston Street.

But developer Benjamin Popat says he wants to invest in Holyhead, speaking of a “bright, vibrant future” and to encourage its regeneration through “quality development.”

“My wife is from Holyhead, and, from her own experience, knows that the vast majority of residents are proud of the town and resent its poor reputation,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“Its conversion will cost us a lot of money but all spent locally, bringing the area down would not be a good investment.

“Our proposal is an assortment of one- and two-bedroom properties, consisting of five spacious flats and three maisonettes.

“Our ideal tenant mix would consist of couples and small families, but not exclude single people, and cover a wide age range.

“Just because there have been some problems elsewhere in the town, does that mean every attempt to provide decent housing has to be tarred with the same brush?”

He added that community engagement had taken place prior to submitting the plans, having received some positive feedback during the process.

Mr Popat also dismissed claims that retail space was being lost, claiming over  30 empty, unused or derelict commercial properties are available locally.

“We are bringing people to live, and work, and spend, in town, supporting local shops and encouraging growth.

“When hope our proposal will be considered on its merits and conformity with planning regulations, and not on unfounded fears.”

The building has been empty since postal services were moved to the Chocolate Box store on Stanley Street in 2015, despite a much publicised campaign to retain it.

But some neighbours believe that the proposals would cause parking problems and conflict with other businesses.

Alex McGinn, the owner of the business which was established in 2014, said: “Other parts of the town centre are experiencing anti-social behaviour from similar residential flats and we are concerned, as a children’s day nursery, of the type of residents that would occupy them.”

Arguing that no evidence has been presented to prove that retail use is not viable, Alex says that the former post office is well-located and within easy access to public car parks, which should be of interest to other businesses.

She concluded: “We’re one of the biggest employers in the town centre, but if this development gets the go ahead I really fear for the future.”

Town councillor, Ann Kennedy, said that she “vigorously” opposes the development.

“I totally understand that single accommodation needs to be found for individuals who need support for their health and social problems, however, the location of these  alongside an active children’s nursery, local shops, and on the route to and from St Cybi’s churchyard is out of keeping with the town’s current and future development.”

Its expected that Anglesey Council’s planning committee will discuss the application in September.