Over 900 residents have had their say on plans to replace the derelict King Arthur pub on Priory Road with a new Aldi supermarket, with eight in ten expressing their support.
Dudley MP Ian Austin wrote to every household living within a mile of the site with a detailed survey asking for their views on the development.
Eight in ten residents said that a new supermarket would be useful, with 87 percent saying it would help tackle unemployment in the area. Just three percent of those who responded thought that the King Arthur was in a decent state, with three-quarters calling the derelict pub an “eyesore”.
Nearly all residents said they backed Austin’s plan for Aldi to offer local people job interviews if the development goes ahead, and two-thirds said they would like the new building to mark the King Arthur’s heritage in some way.
The King Arthur pub closed in 2012 and is now derelict. It has been subject to arson attacks and vandalism. Travellers have been on the site and there is a tree growing out of the chimney. No one has stepped forward to invest in it as a pub.
Aldi have announced plans to develop a new supermarket on the site, providing 40 jobs in an area of high unemployment but a councillor from Sedgley has launched a campaign and petition to block the plans.
Austin will now be presenting the results of his survey to Council’s Planning Committee on Monday 29th June.
Ian Austin said:
“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of local residents consider the King Arthur an eyesore and want it replaced by a new supermarket.
“I used to go to the King Arthur a lot. My parents in particular liked the carvery on Sundays, so I was sorry to see it close in 2012. It’s been a real shame to see it empty ever since.
“The councillor from Sedgley says he wants to save the pub, but it hasn’t been a pub for years and if he listened to local residents he would know that they want a new supermarket and the new jobs it will bring to the area.
“Aldi’s plans will provide 40 jobs in an area of high unemployment. Local people who live near the site have told me they support the plans, particularly those very close by who have to put up with the problems the site has caused.
“It’s my job to speak up for local people, so I’ll be speaking up for local residents’ views at the planning committee next Monday.”