A petrol station in Wolverhampton is to be bulldozed so supermarket giant Asda can build a new store on the site – despite a huge wave of protest from smaller shops in the area who fear they will be put out of business.
Council planners this week granted approval for demolition of the Esso service station in Coalway Road, which has been in operation for around 40 years. The complex also includes a car wash and convenience store.
Applicants EG Group Ltd now plan to build a single-storey Asda in its place with 19 customer car parking spaces, including six for electric vehicle (EV) charging.
Prior to approval, the proposal had sparked 15 objections – many from local traders – as well as protests from Merry Hill ward councillors Wendy Dalton (Con) and Carol Hyatt (Lab). Just four representations were made in support of the application.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) after the decision, Cllr Dalton said: “I am very disappointed at the decision that has been made. We already have all the shops we need close at hand and certainly don’t need another supermarket.
“This is going to have a massive effect on the small, well-established shops that have served this community faithfully for years. These shops are run by local people – they employ local people and contribute directly to our local economy. All Asda’s profits go into their own central fund. This is just going to damage business for them.
“The development is also too close to the houses there, so the residents will be forced to put up with the disturbance and noise of early morning deliveries. We already have a real problem with antisocial behaviour and drug taking in the area and I fear this is just going to make things much worse.
“What we could really have done with is more housing on the site, as there is a desperate shortage of homes across the city. As a council we should be enhancing our local economy and environment, not damaging it,” she added.
Planned opening hours for the Asda store are listed as 7am to 11pm Mondays to Sundays. Developers say the move will represent a £2.5m investment in the site along with 20 jobs, 12 of which 12 will be new.