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    EG Group’s plans to convert Spar forecourt to Asda c-store sparks protest

    The Esso petrol station on Coalway Road, Wolverhampton. (Photo: Google Street View via KDRS)

    A £2.5 million plan by supermarket giants Asda to bulldoze a petrol station in Wolverhampton and build a new 24-hour convenience store on the site has sparked protest from nearby residents.

    EG Group is seeking permission to demolish the Esso garage and adjacent Spar store on Coalway Road, Merry Hill, after the site was identified by bosses as being surplus due to its “weakening performance”.

    However, the proposal has prompted concern from people living in the area and also a local councillor, who says the site would be better used to provide much-needed new housing.

    Councillor Carol Hyatt (Lab. Merry Hill) said: “Residents tell me they are very concerned about the proposed Asda store on the petrol station site. I do not agree with this plan as this is a residential stretch of road. Also, the proposed 24-hour opening could cause a serious disturbance for people living nearby.

    “We already have several grocery shops locally and they could be put out of business with the addition of an Asda local in the nearby vicinity. People who wish to take advantage of Asda’s prices can already do so online, so this will add little to our local economy.

    “I would, however, welcome the addition of much-needed new homes on the petrol station site instead,” she added.

    A report submitted alongside EG’s application said: “The plan is for a new Asda ‘on the move’ format store. It will stock largely fresh and ambient items and will function as a neighbourhood convenience store used for top-up shopping or food to go – ie: consumed on the day of purchase – by the surrounding community and passing traffic.

    “It will not be of the scale that can stock deep enough lines to be a destination in its own right or a store where a weekly shop can be undertaken. It will also deliver seven electric vehicle (EV) charging points and 19 parking spaces, resulting in a significant aesthetic improvement to the site which is tired in appearance.

    “Finally, the proposal has economic benefits as it will create 20 jobs, which is an increase of 12 posts with the retention of existing staff working at the site.”

    The application is due to go before the council’s planning committee on Tuesday January 17, 2023.

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