AN empty pub looks set to be converted into new shops.

The eyesore Bulls Head pub on the corner of Dudley Road and St Giles Avenue in Rowley Regis is set to be transformed and re-open as new retail units according to plans submitted to Sandwell Council. 

The application by Muhammad Abdul Hemin shows the former pub would be split up into four units with extra spaces added to create a bigger 19-space car park.

The building was hit by fire in 2020, which forced the pub to close for a fortnight, and in 2021 when several fires were discovered by the emergency services after the pub had shut down.

It is one of two big plans planned for the stretch of Rowley Regis with a plot of overgrown land opposite, home to “unsightly” roadside billboards, to be the site of new homes.

Sandwell Council rejected an application by Avtar Sehmi from Lordwood Construction to build a three-storey block with six flats on the patch of grass on the land on the corner of Dudley Road and Tippity Green in 2022. 

Planning officers at the council said the apartment block would be too big and out of character for the area.

A report from the council said: “The design and massing of the proposal would be out of scale with the surrounding and neighbouring properties, overly dominant on this prominent corner plot, would not assimilate into the character of the area and would be an over intensification of the site.”

Another application was then submitted by Lordwood Construction and approved by Sandwell Council’s planning committee last February.

A number of objections were made by neighbours saying the proposed homes were still too big for the land.

The council responded to the complaints: “Following the previous refusal, this proposal has been significantly scaled down to provide only three, two-storey houses with roof designs that are similar in height and appearance to the existing adjacent properties on Tippity Green.

“The proposed scheme provides a development in keeping with the area and will retain green space to the gardens serving the properties.”