Plan for Aldi store and care home to be built on former football ground set to be rejected

An ambitious proposal for a new Aldi store and care home complex to take over an old Walsall football ground and pub is set to fail.

An artist impression of the proposed Aldi Store on Walsall Road, Pelsall. PIC: Stoas Architects
An artist impression of the proposed Aldi Store on Walsall Road, Pelsall. PIC: Stoas Architects

The supermarket giant had hoped to take over and transform the Old Bush Inn and Pelsall Football Club ground site, off Walsall Road, Pelsall into a new store and 69-flat residential care site.

But the plans are set to be rejected when Walsall Council’s planning committee meets on Thursday to decide on the application.

Joint applicants Aldi Stores Limited and John Roberts said the Old Bush Inn buildings had been hit by fire and vandalism and these would be demolished for the new store.

Aldi would also use up part of the football pitch, which would have the apartments built on, behind the store.

If the store was to be built, it would be create around 16 full time and 30 part time new jobs and have more than 120 parking spaces.

But the proposal saw a mixed reaction with 33 coming out in support and 47 objecting to the new store, while a further nine supported the care facility whilst 15 were against.

Those against the plans said the new supermarket would “detract from the village atmosphere and would destroy the facilities already existing”.

There were also concerns about the loss of a community facility, increased level of traffic and the harm it would cause Pelsall Village and the conservation area.

People who supported the plans said both the store and the care home would bring in much needed jobs, additional homes, greater choice for shoppers and improve the appearance of the area.

Highways officers also raised concerns that insufficient information had been provided about the impact the new store and apartments could have on traffic.

Walsall Council’s conservation officers objected over the loss of the locally listed building and green space.

Planning officers they had worked with the applicants throughout the process of the application. They concluded issues around the highways and loss of assets were too much to allow the development to go ahead.

A report to committee said: “This proposal is not supported in principle.

“There are additional concerns around harm arising to designated and non-designated heritage assets, highways safety, safeguarding of protected species, loss of important protected trees that make a significant contribution and lack of an agreed form of mitigation measures to make the development acceptable in planning terms via a Section 106 Agreement.

“There are no material planning benefits of this proposal that would outweigh the harm and this application is therefore recommended for refusal.”

Aldi is expected to receive some good news from the committee, on the same night, where members will be recommended to grant permission for the company to take over the former Ravens Court site in Brownhills.

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