Work is halted on £60m Wolverhampton Tesco store

The future of a £60 million Tesco site in Wolverhampton has been thrown into doubt yet again after bosses halted work on its development.

Work at the former Royal Hospital site has now been halted
Work at the former Royal Hospital site has now been halted

Around 40 contractors on the site of the former Royal Hospital in All Saints are understood to have been told to down tools by the end of the week.

The decision was labelled as ‘deeply concerning’ by a city MP today. It comes just two months after the project – which has been more than a decade in the making – finally got under way.

A bitter court battle with Sainsbury’s and a public inquiry were among the obstacles Tesco faced as the supermarket giant looked to move ahead with its plans. Today the firm said work restoring the listed former hospital would continue but that it has ‘paused some of the work’ while it conducts a review.

Council chiefs will meet with bosses from Tesco to discuss the delay.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are considering the timescale for the development and have paused some of the works while we conduct a review. However, the important and restorative works to the listed buildings continue.”

The planned supermarket will eventually create 500 jobs. The 97,000 sq ft store had been due to open in 2015 but it remains unclear if that deadline will be met.

Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: “ This is deeply concerning. I had been assured work would be carried out in the next financial year. Now just six weeks away they make this announcement.

"It is believed contractors from construction firm Bowmer & Kirkland were told about the supermarket firm’s decision yesterday. Twenty workers are understood to remain on the site.

One worker, who didn’t wish to be named, contacted the Express & Star. He said: “All the contractors were told was that they had to come off the job at the end of the week. ”

Comments for: "Work is halted on £60m Wolverhampton Tesco store"

Phil

Could it be that Tesco's intention was always just to frustrate the development of the Sainsbury's development at Raglan Street? And that the plans for its own development at the Royal were always just a fig leaf to hide that fact, which has to be abandoned now that the Raglan Street development if going ahead apace?

I'm not going to be buying anything online from Tesco either, given their role in this town's plight.

do lallytap

You got it Phil....Spot on !

do lallytap

I hope you get a better deal than what we got in West Brom !

It took Tesco over 20 years from start to finish, buying land, industries, churches, schools, roads, shops, pubs, Health Centers, streets, houses, communities and West Brom became a ghost town dump looking like Beirut.

Tesco's use delaying tactics to move the goalposts with the council, trying to get better deals, better conditions and it couldn't care less in timescales, they have the council over a barrel.

OK, it looks great now but it has taken over 20 years of mess, destruction, delays, setbacks and take no notice of this "create Jobs" carp, it don't....West Brom LOST loads and loads of shops in the Towns decline over the 20 years...TESCOS COSTS JOBS AND SHOPS....You know, their competitors and in the long run they employ cheap part time jobs and any staff who are working at a store nearby have to re-apply for their jobs like the ones in West Brom who some of them have over 30 years service....re-apply, new conditions which mean they work longer, Saturday and Sundays for less.

I HATE Tesco's with a passion

Lakeside

DL you have a point but on the other hand the new developments in West Brom at the back of the new Tesco are pretty good aren't they? You have some retailers that Wolvo would give it's eye teeth to attract to the emptying Mander Centre.

do lallytap

Most are empty.

Take a look at the other 2 precincts and High St... I will rest my case.

We did have Clarkes Shoes, Sainsburys, Littlewoods, Preedys, WH Smith, Bell & Jones, Burtons, John Menzies, Druckers, Nursery to Leisure, Don Millers, Marks & Spencers, B&Q, Mothercare, Proffit & Westwood, The Shalimar, Co-Op, Yarnolds, Dry cleaners, Clarkes the fruiterers, Capo Di Monte and loads more, all gone since Tescos started performing....Now look at that list and tell me the new tesco development is a "boost" for my town....It's a boost alright, they have got rid of most competitors !

Bazrat

Sorry to say most of what you say is inaccurate,i worked at hilti industries for 14years before they closed,they bought most of the land around new street and there was talk of us buying the cronhills school and moving it,that was till the Germans pulled the plug,b&q closed years before tesco raised it head,most of the shops you mention were part of chain stores who either went bust or relocated which is normal,the main thing was that tesco came in if they had not imagine how west brom would look like now.

do lallytap

Bazrat...

Clarkes Shoes, Sainsburys, Littlewoods, Marks & Spencers, Mothercare haven't gone bust and they may have relocated but they haven't in West Bromwich ?

How about that garage over the road from Hilti who tescos tried to bully into submission....how about that land opposite Hilti, between hilti and the church which was bought 23 years ago and left.

How about the pub, post office, funeral parlour, chemical suppliers, vets and shops in New Street forced out.

How about those houses in Alfred St where the residents had to take 40% less than market value on their houses.

How about the petrol station which was forced to shut but HEY HO we got a new tescos one

What about the church which was forced out....are tescos now going to hold sunday services

How about Cronehills School a school and building steeped in history to which the council decided to stop spending on it because tescos were going to demolish it

B&Q was certainly still standing over 20 years ago when the tesco bandwagon started rolling.

You go to Tescos in Dudley and you don't have to pay ?

Sandwell sat back and waited for Tescos to become the "saviour" of the town...the council watched it go into a dramatic decline in the hope that Tescos would build it fast but it didn't, Tescos took their time, changing plans right up to the last second to delay the build, forcing the Council to bend to their tune and now the council will look mighty silly if Tescos does a wollies and goes bump which to all analysts could happen...all of these news stores yet takings have dropped.

West Brom is my Town, I was born there and I have sat and watched it being held to ransom by a company who couldn't care less.

You talk about Hilti....the Germans pulled out of relocating in West Bromwich because the council wouldn't let them have any land by cronehills because Tescos wanted it to build the new underpass which has just been reopened after being shut for months because it wasn't built right.

I have an interest in this Tesco development and I can go on and on at how they have acted....Read the reports done by independent surveyors and consultants, it would make your toes curl....I have only just touched the surface believe me.

Tescos.....They can go to hell and when people find out a bit more they will think twice before parting with their cash to this bunch

Bazrat

still you twist the facts hilti owned the shops in new street pub apart,the people sold there houses at market value,the garage on the island was a bp garage which you only used in a emergency because they were expensive,b&q was closed the building was empty for years,they also closed the one in Blackheath about the same time,mothercare and most of the rest closed down because people tastes change.

Bazrat

Sorry friend your hatred of Tesco blinds you from reality,when Hilti pulled out and i was at the meeting we was told the choice was us who were making money by the bucket load,or a plant in Austria which had lost money which if you look on a map is very close to Germany, i know because we had most of the machines off them.

Than the best bit there loss making Chinese plant had to take the slack that the Austrians could not make.

The bottom line was Hilti GB was the only plant that made serious money, but because it was a privately owned company run by Germans we were expendable.

The footnote was so the story went the main board were sacked but too late for us.

Tesco was never involved unless you know different.

bitsie

Maybe this explains why their staff are miserable and unfriendly , I've seen happier people at funerals.

Lakeside

I hope that right now some senior people at Wolverhampton Council are on the case and on the phone with senior Tesco people to get to the bottom of this. Unfortunately Tesco do have a reputation for their manipulative approach to this type of deal so be ready for very unhappy outcomes here.

If it turns out that Wolverhampton has been shafted by Tesco then will local people would be ready to shop elsewhere?

Phil

One day Tescos might wake up to the fact that whether or not they have a major store up and running, people nowadays are still able to respond to their treatment of our town by refusing to buy anything off them online.

Bazrat

and you buy your stuff of sainsburys.

Annie Bro

Is anyone really surprised?

I've been saying all along this would never happen despite what they and the useless council keep saying;

Give it about 3 months ( election time ) & a new 'start date' will hit the headlines, followed by another story as above after a few weeks 'work'!

How gullible do the Kremlin Crew think we are? Clearly very!

fester59

What Tesco have done to West Bromwich disgusts me to the Bone and Sandwell Council have let them get away with it from start to finish - You have to pay Tesco to park on their car park even to shop at the other stores on this New Square place unless you spend a fiver with them then it,s free

Bazrat

there good bus services next time you go to Cornwall try to park on there supermarkets and not pay.

bobwolf101

Perhaps they think building there wasn't the brightest idea! Certainly don't need another large supermarket. The town does need jobs...real jobs to sustain the shops!

Bazrat

correct real jobs would be great but were are they coming from.

PJW Holland

There something very odd about this announcement.

When a project is underway it is most unusual for work to be "suspended" while the timetable is re-considered unless this is a euphemism for sacking the contractor and seeking an alternative. The timetable should have been determined at the outset. That is a matter of basic project management.

Tesco say they are continuing with the work on the listed building. That is hardly the kind of conduct that would accompany the abandonment of a project. Indeed it would be expected that component would be the first to go.

Sainsbury's cut the size of their development once they had started building. Maybe Tesco will do the same. Maybe they will enlarge it. That would mean a planning application though and presumably there is no sign of one.

In the end it may well be they have simply discovered a faulty project plan and are setting out to correct it. I think the usual moaning pessimists need to take another look at the glass. It is half full. Indeed it is more than half full. The buildings are being re-furbished, long overdue. There will either be a big new store bringing trade into the City or there will not leaving the opportunity for someone else to do so.

In my view the design of the development is fundamentally flawed. Perhaps Tesco have realised that. Perhaps they are going to put it right and thus render the store more economically viable. Who knows. Shall we wait for an announcement before publishing the obituary?

pffellows

I was born in Wolverhampton; lived in London and retired to Bath. Why do "Tesco" always feature in a series of disastrous promises and little action?

Potential customers should not shop at Tesco's. Apparently, they've no intention of developing the Wolverhampton (Royal) store, nor the Bath (Chronicle) store. It's always talk, talk, talk, with little action. My advice to the general public is to shop elsewhere and boycott Tesco's

Tesco are not worth a pittance.... Am I right?

It's up to Tesco to prove me wrong....