Sainsbury‘s were today awarded planning permission to extend their store in Rookery Street Wednesfield, despite objections from local a historian. 80 extra jobs are set to be created but a local heritage building will be demolished to make way for a car park extension.
The new 21,600 sq feet extension which is set to include a new restaurant and bakery, as well as 74 new parking spaces has been given the go ahead by planners, but will see a 19th Century heritage building demolished.
Ray called upon the Sainsbury’s to drop their proposals to demolish the hall saying “Wednesfield as a community has suffered more than most Black Country towns from the loss of it’s ancient heritage. Delivering an innovative planning proposal which incorporates a use for the building just as Sainsbury’s did at the former St. Georges Church in Wolverhampton City Centre would be applauded.“
Mr Fellows asked Sainsbury’s whether it was possible to use the building in some way, but the company wish to demolish the hall in order to extend their car park to include a total of 472 spaces, including 29 disabled spaces and 20 parent and child spaces, an increase of 74 spaces. Motorcycle and cycle parking is also proposed.
Planners at Wolverhampton City Council ruled that although the hall was a heritage asset to Wednesfield, it was not deemed significant enough to deny Sainsbury’s proposals to demolish it.
Duncan Nimmo, TreasurerÂ of the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society added,Â “The problem is that it is not reasonable to try to preserve every bit of heritage; that would mean stagnation, and preventing new things which may become the heritage of the future.
“What is necessary is to strike the right balance between preservation and demolition. At least now this is formally recognised in the planning process, with developers required to assess any heritage damage and to justify it in terms of the benefits brought by their proposals.“
The car park extension requires the demolition of a nearby builders yard and the former Temperance Hall, with Hall Street being extinguished and incorporated into the car park.
The existing petrol station is also set to be demolished and relocated to allow for the extension of the supermarket building.Â The silver-lining is that extension will bring 80 new jobs to the area.
Do you think supermarkets should be allowed to demolish heritage buildings in order toÂ increaseÂ profits? Or should planners make more effort toÂ incorporate our history into buildings of the future? Let us know in the comments!
In related news, rumour has it that an ASDA Living storeÂ may be coming to Bentley Bridge.