CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop the Maypole pub in Halesowen being demolished are in a race against time to persuade patrons to lodge their objections to Dudley Council.

New River Retail has submitted a planning application to replace the Bassnage Road pub with a Co-op supermarket and The Friends of The Maypole want as many objections as possible.

In a rallying cry to residents and pub-goers chairman Geoff Nixon said: "Only the people of Halesowen can save a Halesowen pub s now is the time to stand up and take back our community, our right to enjoy our traditions, our families’ traditions, create a new tradition whereby we stand together and say ‘No thank you!'"

"Your support is not just welcomed, but it’s necessary in keeping this community landmark pub protected and safe-guarded."

He added: "People have two weeks to go onto the Dudley Council website and object, we need as many as possible."

The friends group has also applied for the pub to be listed as a community asset and are waiting for confirmation from Dudley Council. This would mean the friends group becoming more involved and given first option to buy the pub if it was put up for sale.

Mr Nixon added: "CAMRA have submitted their complimentary application, which goes hand-in-hand with our ACV. CAMRA has

been incredibly helpful to us, as have Friends if the Haden Cross and councillor Jeff Hill."

However, New River Retail, which has earmarked several pubs in the Black Country to be supermarkets, is pushing ahead with the Maypole

"We appreciate that there are some local people that value the pub, but we believe that a new convenience store is the best and most viable option going forward in that it will provide a new high quality neighbourhood facility that will also generate around 20 new jobs.

"The proposal will now be considered by the local authority under its normal planning decision-making process."