Wilnecote Co-op site – what is happening?

Tuesday, 12th March 2019

THE Co-op Superstore closed to the public over a year ago, and the site has sat untouched since – so what is happening?

An increasing number of readers have been contacting us recently and so we have chased up up the landowners and developers for an update.

After over 37 years of trading, the last customers were served and the staff were ushered out of the back doors as the store closed at 4 pm on Saturday 20 January 2018.

The land is still owned by Central England Co-operative Ltd and there were talks of a new retail and leisure complex on the site – but nothing has come of this.

In January 2016, we first reported that Councillors would be discussing a ‘Pre-application report’ relating to the potential development of the Co-op site, including the demolition of the store and petrol station.

In July 2017 we first reported that Central England Co-op had announced that the existing store at Ninian Way, Wilnecote would be closing down and that the company had been working with Hawkstone Vale Developments to look at regenerating the site.

It was announced that they were looking to redevelop the whole site and bring forward a new retail and community facility.

With a proposed name of ‘Skey Park’ there would be an investment of £15.2 million and it was estimated that it would create around 234 jobs directly, with a further 105 jobs created indirectly – creating a net wage of around £1.6 million which could potentially increase expenditure in Tamworth.

An Artists impression of some of the stores at the location.

An Artists impression of some of the stores at the location.

As part of the consultation on plans, the company held a public exhibition on 12 July 2017 to show off the plans in store.

More than 140 responses were received as a result of the consultation – many of which supported the plans and comments were also received regarding the loss of the existing Post Office on site.

The formal planning application was submitted to the council in January 2017. Hawkstone Vale Developments said at the time that they expected to start demolishing the Co-op building in the autumn, with building work due to start before the end of the year (2017).

In August 2018, it was announced that the redevelopment had been temporarily shelved after developers withdrew the planning application from Tamworth Borough Council.

Andrew Kirton, managing director of Hawkstone Vale, said: “There were some last-minute objections from the council relating to impact on town centre trade, so we decided to tactically withdraw the plans. We hope to re-submit something soon.

“We want to revise the scheme and submit something that is both viable and gets the support from local authorities.”

But it has all gone quiet and nothing has happened since. So what now?

Well, we contacted Central England Co-operative to ask them if there was an update in relation to the re-development of the site.

A Spokesperson for CEC told Tamworth Informed: “I am unable to provide you with any new information or updates on the site at this time.”

Hawkstone Vale has not replied to our request for an update.

So there you have it, no change and no idea when the site will be developed.