A PUB in Downley is set to be converted into a Morrisons convenience store – which a resident believes would a “massive blow to the village.”

The Downley Donkey in Plomer Green Lane is expected to become a Morrisons’ M Local store, the Free Press has learnt.

The supermarket giant confirmed today that it was in “the early stages of planning” and it will share its plans with residents “as things progress”.

In a statement, Enterprise Inns said: “Enterprise has continued to invest in The Downley Donkey in recent years.

“But despite advertising the permanent lease during that time we have not received any viable long-term offers from prospective publicans.”

Downley Parish Council Chairman Cllr Barry Gay said the first the council had heard about the proposals was on Friday.

He said the council was “very concerned” but would not comment further until additional information about the plans had been revealed.

Resident and Donkey regular Paul Brookes said: “It’s a massive blow to Downley. It’s another nail in the coffin for local traders in the area.

“It’s also another place gone for the community to go to socialise. The feeling is strong in Downley; it would be a massive loss to the village.”

He added residents and shopkeepers planned to launch a petition in a bid to prevent the pub from being turned into a convenience store.