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