A PLAN to convert a former Stourbridge High Street store into nine apartments has been approved despite concerns that future residents may complain of noise nuisance from a nearby popular music venue.

Developers have now been given the thumbs up to convert part of the ground and the first floor of the former Co-operative store into three one-bedroomed and six two-bedroomed flats. 

Planning permission for the scheme was granted at last night's development control committee (Tuesday May 26) despite objections and a petition signed by nearly 150 people calling on councillors to reject the plan over fears it would negatively impact on the town's nightlife as the development site is just metres away from the nearby Claptrap the Venue music club - and the Cock 'n' Bull bar and restaurant.

The owners of Claptrap the Venue and music fans said the apartments would be too close to the live music venue and residents would suffer disturbance from performing bands. Police had also raised concerns about the crime risk that would be faced by residents - with West Midlands Police's designing out crime officer Robert Manson saying the High Street has a high vehicle crime rate and disorder in the High Street is "nearly always drink related".

But planning officers recommended the scheme be approved and councillors voted five to four to give it the go ahead.

Sarah Poultney and Sean Lloyd, who run Claptrap, said on Facebook after the meeting: "It was dead close. We'd like to thank everyone who submitted an objection and signed our petition.

"There are a lot of empty, or currently being built/converted, luxury flats around Stourbridge High Street at the moment and we only hope it doesn't affect the live music and DJ nights."

They thanked Stourbridge Labour campaigner Cat Eccles for backing their fight and trying to convince the committee to throw the scheme out and they added: "We can't wait to get back to work and continue enjoying the best music around with the nicest people."