House plan for Haden Cross pub car park after campaigners halted Co-op shop
A retail company which saw its bid to put a shop on a pub car park defeated by a community campaign has returned with new plans to build a house on the site.
A Co-op store was originally planned to go next to the Haden Cross pub in Cradley Heath but was refused due to the weight of objections in the area.
Punters felt the arrival of the shop would have been damaging to the pub as it would have meant a loss of parking spaces.
New River Retail, which bought the pub from Marston's, now wants to build a semi-detached house on the site in Halesowen Road.
Campaigners say they believe the company is determined to make money from the land after seeing the Co-op bid fail.
The Friends of Haden Cross group, which helped see off the plan for the shop with a hard-fought campaign, reacted to the new application with caution.
Member Tim Haskey said he was waiting to meet with officials with New River Retail to find out what impact the house would have on the pub. It is believed it would take up around eight parking spaces.
The group secured an Asset for Community Value for the pub, including the car park, which makes any unwanted development more difficult.
Mr Haskey said: "We are considering our position with this application. New River's asset development director has agreed to meet with us to discuss the planning application.
"The questions we want to raise are what it will mean for the pub and whether they are prepared to invest in the pub to help it flourish and grow.
"We will reserve our judgement on this until we meet with New River Retail."
New River bought dozens of pubs from Marston's in 2013, leading to string of applications for shops either to replace watering holes or be built on their car parks.