Express & Star

Lidl submits more plans for site of Walsall pub

Plans for a new Lidl store on the site of a struggling Walsall pub are continuing to move forward as the company looks to clear another hurdle.

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Lidl plans to build on the site of the Horse & Jockey pub

The supermarket giant wants to install a substation on the site of the Horse & Jockey in Walsall Road, Walsall Wood, to provide electric car charging points for future customers.

Members of Walsall Council’s planning committee unanimously backed the proposed Lidl branch at a meeting earlier this year despite officers recommending refusal over the impact it would have on the Green Belt.

Lidl said it would plant 111 new mature trees and a further 130 immature ones to replace those which are lost as part of the redevelopment, adding the store would create 40 ‘well paid’ jobs.

Ward councillor Anthony Harris backed the scheme and said the pub would inevitably close and join a number of others which have shut over the years.

Walsall Council planning officers are expected to make a decision on the substation in the new year.

Artist impression of proposed new Lidl Store on the site of the Horse & Jockey, Walsall Road, Walsall Wood. PIC: Whittam Cox Architects

The application said: “The proposed substation is required to bring the approved EV bays into use, thus promoting sustainable travel and insure the site is inclusive to different modes of transport.

“It is considered the substation would not have an adverse affect on the character and appearance of the local area nor the amenity of neighbouring users and would allow the promotion of sustainable travel to the site.”

At the previous planning committee meeting, Ryan McTeggart, of agents Rapleys, said: “The proposal we consider will bring numerous substantial benefits including a new discount retail store for Walsall Wood providing choice and helping residents with increasing cost of living pressures.

“Up to 40 new well paid jobs starting at a minimum of £11 per hour, an energy efficient store with roof top solar panels and electric vehicle charging points, significant tree planting and landscaping including the replacement of all trees lost on site substantial wider ecological and biodiversity enhancements supported by a 30-year habitat plan.”

Lidl has also secured permission to build a new store on Walsall Road, on the town’s border with Sandwell, while an application for an old Bingo Hall site on Park Lane in Darlaston is currently being considered.

But the company failed to win over planners with a proposal to take over the Metro Inn and Broadway Bar and Grill site on Birmingham Road.