Residents hit out at ‘reckless’ plan to replace Wolverhampton hotel with Lidl store

Outraged residents have launched a petition against a “reckless” plan to build a new supermarket on a busy city road.

The Mercure Goldthorn Hotel could be torn down to make way for a Lidl store
The Mercure Goldthorn Hotel could be torn down to make way for a Lidl store

Lidl wants to open a giant new store at the site of the Mercure Goldthorn Hotel on Penn Road, Wolverhampton, in a move that would create 40 jobs.

But residents say the scheme – which would see the hotel and business centre demolished – will lead to gridlocked roads around an accident blackspot.

They also say the plans were launched without consultation, and that the supermarket would ruin a peaceful neighbourhood and cause problems including noise pollution and the visual degradation of the area.

The new store, which would also feature a car park for 93 vehicles, would sit just a short distance away from the old Waitrose building, which is due to open as a Tesco in July.

The petition, which has been launched by residents in Lonsdale Road, Lea Road and Oaklands Road, has been signed by more than 100 people.

Nic Outterside, who lives in Lonsdale Road, said he was outraged by the plans, which would add to the already-increased traffic going to the new Tesco superstore.

He said: “We are furious that this application for full planning permission for this store was suddenly announced without any consultation with the local residents.

“The extra traffic will increase exponentially the queuing at the traffic lights at the nearby crossroads, leading to delays during rush hour periods and huge access and egress problems for at least seven residential roads which have junctions with the A449.

“And the worst affected will be Lonsdale Road and Oaklands Road.”

There have been several serious crashes at the crossroads of Penn Road, Oaklands Road and Marston Road in recent years.

Outlining concerns about the environment, Mr Outterside said: “Beyond the traffic concerns, we will lose up to 28 mature trees and the buffer that hedges and other trees gives to noise from the A449.

“This is a quiet and friendly community, yet we now face that being ruined by the reckless plans of a billion-pound supermarket company.”

A spokesman for Wolverhampton Council said: “We have received the application and as with any other planning application, it will be assessed thoroughly by our planners before a final decision is made.”

Lidl, in a statement, said: “The proposed scheme seeks to bring a new foodstore offering to this part of Wolverhampton by redeveloping an existing commercial site, whilst also providing wider choice to consumers and generating new employment opportunities.

“This proposal will be constructed to a high quality with sensitivity to the local environment, employing contemporary and sustainable design and materials to create an attractive, high quality building which is appropriate to its surrounding built environment.”

Lidl is planning to build dozens of new supermarkets across the country as part of massive expansion plans.

The discount retailer currently has city stores on Finchfield Hill, Blackhalve Lane, New Road in Willenhall and Bilston High Street.

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