Anger as plans to replace historic Wolverhampton hotel with Lidl store are approved

The Mercure Goldthorn hotel is to be demolished to make way for a new supermarket

The historic former Goldthorn Hotel on Penn Road was bulldozed by planning chiefs this week – despite nearly 80 protests and a petition with 105 signatures from angry residents.

Lidl says the development will create 40 new full-time and part-time jobs and give a major boost to the local economy.

However, the decision to demolish the building, which dates back to 1890, has sparked outrage from local conservationists, historians and city councillors.

Known as the Quality Hotel in recent years, in its heyday, the venue was a popular choice for private parties and dinner theaters – and considered a favorite of showbiz stars including Bob Monkhouse and Diana Dors .

Several committee members had opposed the proposal, however, Chair Councilor Anwen Muston used her casting vote to push the plans forward.

Speaking after hearing the news, Graiseley Councilor John Reynolds, whose ward the hotel is in, said: ‘I am very disappointed at the loss of the Goldthorn Hotel, the loss of 28 trees mature and the upheaval this has caused local residents.

“In the 70’s and 80’s the hotel was known as one of the classiest in town and I have very fond memories of attending several classy parties there. I’ve never seen anyone famous, but I always hoped I would. Sadly, that’s all there will be now – memories.

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.

David Dungar, of the Wolverhampton Society, said: “This is one of the few remaining historic buildings on this part of Penn Road. By demolishing this Victorian house, we lose one of the last references to the historic cityscape.

“We are very upset with this decision and have made it clear that we were not happy with the plans from the outset.

“There is already a Tesco nearby and we see no need to build another supermarket in the area, particularly with the waste and traffic issues this will cause,” he added.

The many objections raised prior to approval included concerns about increased traffic and the risk of serious accidents, a potential increase in anti-social behavior and the need for another supermarket in this area.

Councilor Paul Birch, who represents neighboring Blakenhall and has been pushing for more hotels in the town for several years, said: ‘When a small number of people elected to represent our community ignore nearly 80 objections, they don’t represent us more. .

“I’d bet for everyone who opposed it, there’s a hundred people who stayed silent for whatever reason. This will hit the nearby Tesco store hard and will also be a huge problem for traffic on Penn Road.

“In light of this terrible decision, I think the entire planning department should be made redundant,” he added.

Maria R. Newman