A public inquiry will decide next year if a Tesco store can be built in Wolverhampton – leaving the fate of a new Sainsbury’s and 1,050 potential jobs hanging in the balance.
Work on the Tesco development at the former Royal Hospital site has halted after objections about road changes.
Banga Buses, which employs 12 people and runs four services, objected to Tesco plans to close Sutherland Place to traffic as they could not get buses in and out of their garage without a big detour.
A two-day inquiry by the Department for Transport will take place in Wolverhampton on January 9 and 10 but a decision will not be made until Easter, with work on the new store likely to be delayed until June.
It today emerged that the delay may have a knock-on effect on Sainsbury’s supermarket development in Raglan Street, Graiseley.
Tesco owns about 10 per cent of the site and a councillor today said it was unlikely to sell to its rival until its own development’s fate was decided.
Andrew Johnson said: “For Sainsbury’s to finish they need the land at Raglan Street so this could hold them up as well, because of this objection.”
Tesco today confirmed it was in discussion with Sainsbury’s about the land but signs there say: “Tesco area. Keep out.”