Historic Wolverhampton hotel threatened with bulldozers to make way for Lidl store

An historic hotel in Wolverhampton faces being bulldozed to make way for a new Lidl supermarket – sparking anger in the local area.

The former Quality Hotel on Penn Road, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View
The former Quality Hotel on Penn Road, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google Street View

Proposals to demolish the former Quality Hotel on Penn Road – built around 1890 – have led to a major public outcry from residents, conservationists, historians and city councillors.

Planners have received 73 objections from neighbours including a petition with 105 signatures – and just one letter in support of the development.

If given the go-ahead, Lidl say the development will create 40 new full and part-time jobs.

But residents say the store will jam already-busy roads and see mature trees felled.

Graiseley councillor John Reynolds, whose ward the hotel is in, said: “When the plans came out a year ago a large number of local residents contacted me with their concerns. They quickly raised a petition with many signatures from the two local streets close by and most affected.

“Residents have great concerns about increased local traffic, congestion, noise and pollution. They are also concerned – as am I – about the loss of 28 mature trees on the site.

“And whilst they are partially replaced by new trees, these will be small and not have the screening impact that the existing larger trees have. I agree with all of these local concerns.

“The nearby junction with Penn Road is already very busy, and whilst improvements have been made to try and reduce accidents, my concern still remains,” he added.

“I have personally had to deal with an accident at the lights where someone was hit and taken to hospital, so I have great understanding of the concerns of local residents.

“If the development is agreed then the council must monitor the situation very closely and take immediate steps to put things right, whether that be traffic congestion, noise and disturbance to local residents, or accidents at the junction.”

The many objections include concerns over a rise in anti-social behaviour, the need for another supermarket in the area and loss of employment at the hotel, which is temporarily closed.

Although not listed, the building was once the residence of John Rollings, director of Star Cycles, Cars and Commercial Vehicles, and vice-president and benefactor of the Royal Wolverhampton School from 1894 to 1909.

Cllr Paul Birch (Lab), who represents neighbouring Blakenhall, said: “It will be incredibly disappointing if the city has to lose another hotel in exchange for yet another supermarket, which we already have too many of.

“Wolverhampton has some great hotels like the Mount, Park Hall and Holiday Inn but badly needs city centre hotels. If the chains are not coming to the city, then the city needs to build and operate a franchise.

“This is how we ignite the night-time economy, this is how we develop Michelin Star restaurants, this is how we build in conferencing,” he added.

Planning bosses are due to make a decision on the application next Tuesday.

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