CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn a Hampshire pub into a convenience store are likely to be approved this week.

Members of New Forest District Council are being recommended to support an application to convert the Hampshire Yeoman in Hampton Lane, Blackfield, into a Sainsbury’s Local.

The Sainsbury’s scheme will create up to 26 jobs but has divided the village.

Some residents support the application, claiming the Hampshire Yeoman is an eyesore and a noise nuisance.

But others say the proposed new store will generate extra traffic, jeopardising the safety of children walking to and from Blackfield Primary School.

Sainsbury’s is applying for permission to build a single-storey extension to the building and install a new entrance.

A report to the council’s planning and development committee which will meet on Wednesday says the authority has received eight letters of objection.

The report adds: “While the proposal would result in the loss of an important public house, the applicants have rightly pointed out that the change of use to a shop does not require planning permission.”

The report says any decision to reject the proposed alterations to the building would be difficult to defend at a subsequent appeal hearing.