Work on a long-awaited supermarket will finally begin next month – bringing to an end a decade long planning battle.
Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco spent years battling over who could build a store on a site just outside Wolverhampton City Centre as both owned part of the land.
The dispute went all the way to the Supreme Court and was only resolved when Tesco was told it could develop the separate former Royal Hospital site in Wolverhampton with a £60 million store spanning 97,000 sq ft.
At the end of last year Tesco handed over its share of the Raglan Street site in Graiseley to Sainsbury’s but since then the land has remained empty with Sainsbury’s bosses saying they were still working on a building schedule for their new £65m store. Council bosses pleaded for work to get under way.
And now the company has announced that work will begin on October 14.
The company says that it expects the supermarket to open next summer and once completed the 90,000 sq ft store will create 190 new jobs.
The supermarket’s current store in St Georges Parade will close once the new one opens.
Josh Roberts, spokesman for the supermarket giant, said: “We’re delighted to start construction works so that we can bring the site back into use. We look forward to delivering new jobs for the local community at the store on top of those which will be transferred from the existing one on St George’s Parade.
“In the meantime, we will notify the site’s neighbours about the construction works and keep the community updated about the programme as it progresses. Neighbours can be assured that contractors will be working to a strict code of conduct to minimise disruption as much as possible.”
The new supermarket will have a cafe, petrol station and car parking with 700 spaces.
The news follows an announcement the council is to invest £10.6m in creating shops and offices at Wolverhampton bus station.