Walsall supermarket rebuild and flats agreed after years of wrangling

A Walsall supermarket will finally be demolished to make way for a new retail and flats development after years of planning wrangling.

Artist impression of what the new Johal Supermarket and apartments will look like: Photo: Integrated Designs and Associates Ltd
Artist impression of what the new Johal Supermarket and apartments will look like: Photo: Integrated Designs and Associates Ltd

Members of Walsall Council’s planning committee granted permission for Johal Supermarket to replace the existing West Bromwich Road store with three new units and apartments above.

The proposal was first put forward in 2018 but planners refused on the grounds of the negative impact it would have on neighbours, the harm it would cause to the vitality and viability of nearby town centres and traffic issues.

Representatives for the supermarket said they worked with planning officers for months in an effort to address concerns and make changes were possible.

Johal Supermarket on West Bromwich Road, Walsall. Photo: Google Maps

Despite some issues being resolved, planning officers said they couldn’t support it and still recommended refusal.

But members of the committee said they believed Johal Supermarket had done everything they possibly could to produce a viable scheme and backed the proposal.

Planning agent Integrated Designs & Associates Ltd said: “The application went through an extensive amount of negotiations to try to resolve the reasons for refusal we had previously.

“We spent several months modifying the proposal. We looked at all the reasons and when you compare this application, we’ve reduced the number of apartments and reduced the height to one of the parts.

“Everything that could be done was done at that time.

“We’ve tried to look at what this facility is providing. It’s not to take away the vitality and viability available in the town centre.

“The supermarket is existing. It can carry on functioning as it is. The idea is not to take away business but complement what is already there.”

Ward councillor Aftab Nawaz said: “It has taken a long time and I think the applicant has gone out of his way to try to compromise as much as he can on the application.

“I know this area and I do think this is a positive development. It will benefit, not only the developer, but also the people who live in that area.

“That shop is very popular and that small business area has vitality and is being used by a lot of people.

“It is quite a sustainable area, it is one bus ride from the town centre and it’s not too far to walk.

“This development shows support for an established local business and will fulfil a local need. The proposed flats will be welcomed as there is a local need and high demand for residential accommodation in the area.”

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