Express & Star

£2.5m Asda plan at Wolverhampton petrol station site 'could put local shops out of business'

Local shops could be "put out of business" if £2.5 million plans to bulldoze a Wolverhampton petrol station and replace it with a 24-hour Asda store are approved, it has been claimed.

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The Esso petrol station on Coalway Road, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google

Proposals have been submitted to demolish the Esso station on Coalway Road, after bosses said it was surplus to requirements due to its "weakening performance".

The scheme would also see the Spar convenience store next to it pulled down so the entire 302sq m plot can be taken over by Asda, which will build a new store there.

But concerns have been raised that nearby shops could be put out of business by the supermarket chain, with one councillor saying she would prefer housing on the site instead.

Councillor Carol Hyatt, who represents the area, said: “Residents tell me they are very concerned about the proposed Asda store on the petrol station site. I do not agree with this plan as this is a residential stretch of road. Also, the proposed 24-hour opening could cause a serious disturbance for people living nearby.

“We already have several grocery shops locally and they could be put out of business with the addition of an Asda Local in the nearby vicinity. People who wish to take advantage of Asda’s prices can already do so online, so this will add little to our local economy.

“I would, however, welcome the addition of much-needed new homes on the petrol station site instead."

EG Group, which runs 666 forecourt sites in the UK, said a deal has been agreed with the supermarket giant to take over the site with one of its new 'on the move' stores, subject to planning permission.

A report submitted alongside the application said: “The plan is for a new Asda ‘on the move’ format store. It will stock largely fresh and ambient items and will function as a neighbourhood convenience store used for top-up shopping or food to go – i.e: consumed on the day of purchase – by the surrounding community and passing traffic.

“It will not be of the scale that can stock deep enough lines to be a destination in its own right or a store where a weekly shop can be undertaken. It will also deliver seven electric vehicle (EV) charging points and 19 parking spaces, resulting in a significant aesthetic improvement to the site which is tired in appearance.

“Finally, the proposal has economic benefits as it will create 20 jobs, which is an increase of 12 posts, with the retention of existing staff working at the site.”

The application is due to go before the council’s planning committee on January 17, 2023.