CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a landmark Halesowen pub have been dealt a hammer blow just weeks after claiming victory.

Residents, councillors and shopkeepers were delighted when a controversial planning application to bulldoze The Swan, Long Lane, and build a supermarket was withdrawn in June.

However, this week an identical planning has been lodged with Dudley Council along with a solicitor’s letter demanding the application be approved.

Halesowen North Councillor Jeff Hill promised to fight the new application to the bitter end.

He said: “The applicants appear to be trying to browbeat the council into accepting the proposals.

“I am satisfied that there are numerous grounds on which the application should be refused, and will continue to fight it vigorously through the Council's planning process, and to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol if necessary.”

He added: “We have also been contacting the residents most affected by the plans and I will be feeding their views into my response to the application.

“Although we collected 676 signatures in the petition against the original application we have set up a new petition, as the old one can't be accepted as a submission to the new planning application. The petition is available to sign in local shops.”

He added: “The plans include deliveries of bread and milk as early as 4am, which is not acceptable in a residential area.”

Halesowen North councillor Hilary Bills is also disappointed with the new planning application.

She said: “I'm upset for the Long Lane residents and businesses that this new application has been put in again.

“My opposition remains the same it's bad news for Shell Corner, it'll require major road traffic changes to make it safe, it'll cause long term noise and nuisance for the neighbours and to top it all we'll lose a well known pub.”

She added: “I had hoped the pub owners would come up with some good ideas to make the pub pay its way such as a real ale pub or even a gastro pub but apparently not.”

Yorkshire outfit HTC Architects submitted the application and a spokesman said: “Due to the high levels of residential properties in the area the construction of a small convenience store would be of great benefit for the community.”