Express & Star

'Business as usual' for now at Walsall pub set to be replaced by an Aldi

The company which owns a Walsall pub has said it is business as usual for the "foreseeable future" in response to plans submitted to replace it with a supermarket.

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The Royal Exchange pub. Photo: Google

Star Pubs and Bars, which owns The Royal Exchange on Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood, has responded to plans lodged by Aldi to build a new store on the site of the pub.

If the proposals were to be approved by Walsall Council, the pub would be demolished to make way for the single-storey supermarket in addition to 109 car park spaces and 16 cycle spaces.

It would also see the demolition of three houses and warehouses units on site which are currently being used for the "storage and distribution of cheese and eggs".

Star Pubs and Bars however has assured customers that it is business as usual for the time being.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We can confirm that plans have been submitted to build an Aldi on the site of The Royal Exchange at Walsall Wood.

"The Royal Exchange will remain open as normal pending the council’s decision. Even if the project is approved to go ahead, it will take time for work to start, so the pub will run as usual for the foreseeable future."

As detailed in its application, Aldi said the new store – which would be open from 8am to 10pm Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 6pm on Sundays – would create up to 50 new jobs.

It further outlined that the supermarket will "meet the food shopping needs of the local community", catering for both "main and top-up shopping".

If plans were approved, the shop would boast a net trading area of 1,195 square metres, which, as outlined in the application, is a typical floorspace size across all Aldi stores, to ensure a "range of identical products".

On the proposed demolition of The Royal Exchange, the application states that it has "considered the provision of public houses and bars within an approximate 1km radius of the site" and comments that there "five public houses within this area".

Walsall Council is expected to reach a decision on the plans by February.