REGULARS at a Woodsetton pub are over the moon that their watering hole has been saved from closure.

New River Retail's application to bulldoze The Summer House on Sedgley Road and replace it with a Co-op supermarket was refused by members of Dudley Council's development control committee meeting last night (Tuesday).

Although councillors were told beer sales had "significantly declined" and the pub was no longer "financially viable", objector Kevin Lockley said it was a popular pub with those over the age of 50.

He said residents felt the shop would not be "in keeping with the look or feel of surrounding buildings" and feared it would affect the trade of established stores nearby.

Mr Lockley concluded: "We've lost countless local pubs, this supermarket is not wanted or needed."

The refusal was sparked by committee member Councillor Dave Vickers' comments that due to the busy nature of the road, delivery lorries going in and out of the car park could pose "a danger" and hold up traffic.

He also felt that the proposed 14 parking spaces, were inadequate and motorists unable to get a space would cause obstructions by parking on double yellow lines.

Ken Love, who started a petition to save the pub, which attracted more than 300 signatures, said he was "overwhelmed" with the result.

Mike Guest told the News that customers were "under no illusion" that the battle to keep the pub open was over, adding: "The decision will certainly be appealed."

He continued: "Co-op had a shop in the village before, many years ago, and it closed because it wasn't viable."

Ward councillor Keiran Casey called the outcome "a victory for local campaigners".

He added: "I've always said local pubs are an important part of the community and this pub has been in the village for many years.

"The most important thing was that residents' voices were heard, that's why I got involved in their campaign."

Fellow ward councillor Dean Perks, who was not allowed to speak at the meeting, despite requesting the application went before the committee, said: "I sat down with the regulars and looked at the plans and it was clear it wasn't suitable and I was confident we could get it thrown out.

"They were really disappointed when the plans went in, it's a traditional pub where they enjoy a quiet drink and hold meetings."

Cllr Perks welcomed the committee's decision but said he would be "very disappointed" if it was appealed and the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, overruled the decision of local planners.