PLANS to build a new convenience store on a Netherton pub car park have been approved by council planners.

Members of Dudley Council's development control committee tonight (Monday) gave the green light to plans by NewRiver Retail to build a new Co-op store on the car park of The Crown Inn in Simms Lane.

A report to the committee stated four objections were received including an objection letter from ward councillor Elaine Taylor who expressed concern the development would cause parking and congestion problems, additional noise, disturbance and litter and who claimed there was no need for a new supermarket as there were already two nearby.

But council officers concluded the development would "serve the needs of the local community for day to day convenience goods".

The report continued: "There would be no demonstrable harm to neighbouring properties and there would be no adverse effect on the street scene or the character of the area. "The development would not have any adverse impacts on the vitality and viability of the area and would create employment opportunities within the area."

Committee member councillor Christine Perks disagreed and said The Crown boasts "a big function room and it's well used" and she dubbed the number of parking spaces allocated for the pub and the store as "absolutely ridiculous".

But the plan was given the go ahead much to the delight of pub owners NewRiver Retail, who had also hoped to win approval for similar schemes to build Co-ops on the sites of The Ashwood pub at Wordsley and The Maypole at Halesowen - both of which were refused.

A spokesman for NewRiver Retail said after the meeting: "It seems unusual that they would support this application and not the others when they were similar."

Approval was granted subject to a number of conditions - among them a condition that the store does not open before 7am or after 11pm Monday to Saturday and before 8am or after 11pm on Sundays or Bank Holidays.