A SEDGLEY pub is at the heart of a brewing controversy over plans to change it into a convenience store.

Dudley councillor and MEP Bill Etheridge says Marston’s, which owns the Seven Stars in Gospel End, is in the process of applying for permission to convert the boozer into a food retail outlet.

Cllr Etheridge, who is also the UKIP parliamentary candidate for Dudley North, has launched an initiative to gauge public opinion which includes sending 200 letters to residents in the area.

Cllr Etheridge said said: “I am keen to look into the viability of the pub as a going concern and I urge residents to contact me with their views.

“I am keen to work with all interested parties concerning this scheme, all I want to see is the best outcome for my constituents.”

Marston’s have so far made no comment on their plans for the pub.

Residents can contact Cllr Etheridge’s office by calling 01902 664670.

Meanwhile another Dudley pub seems certain to disappear from the map after planners gave permission for it to be demolished to make way for houses.

The vacant Freebodies Tavern on St John’s Road was described by Cllr Qadar Zada, chairman of Dudley development control committee, as being in a very poor state.

At a meeting of the committee where permission was granted for the pub to be demolished to make way for ten new houses, Cllr Zada declared he was delighted to see the application and added: “I like to think we can change the landscape of this area and move on.”