A CLOSURE-threatened Halesowen pub has won a stay of execution from councillors who voted for a site visit before deciding whether it should be demolished and replaced with a Co-op.

Dudley’s planning officers had recommended approval of plans to replace The Maypole pub, Bassnage Road, with a supermarket despite protests including a 500-named petition.

But some members of the council’s development control committee feared children’s lives would be put at risk walking to and from nearby schools by increased traffic using the store.

Halesowen South councillor David Vickers said he was “quite dismayed” the highways department had not raised the issue.

He said: “Traffic backs up that road and with children running around the pavements, to have a lot of vehicles coming in and out of the car park could be very dangerous.

“It needs to be looked at and that is why we are going to have a site visit when the children are on their way to school or returning home.”

Geoff Dixon, Friends of the Maypole group chairman, said he welcomed the “stay of execution”.

But he slammed Dudley’s planning officers for failing to update their policies, as other local authorities have, to enable councillors to take into account that the pub has been granted asset of community value (ACV) status when deciding the application.

He was backed by Cllr Vickers and Hayley Green and Cradley South councillor Jeff Hill, both of whom said it was “a nonsense “ for the pub to be given the status if it could not be taken into consideration.

Cllr Vickers added that he believed the officers’ report “could have been better” as it omitted to note that the nearest other shops were in Thornhilll Road and just 500 yards away in Hagley Road.

Marstons Brewery are current renting the pub from owners New River Retail Property Unit Trust, who want to redevelop the site for a Co-op.

Mr Dixon said the present managers were “making a good go” of the pub, which is also home to various groups and clubs, including football teams and pigeon fanciers.