CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert a former Stourport pub into a grocery store could be resurrected - but not by the supermarket giant that owns the lease.
Tesco has submitted a Lawful Development Certificate application to determine exactly what they have permission to do on the site of The Squirrel Inn in Areley Kings.
Once this is established, Tesco will decide what it wants to do with the site – including finding another retail company to run it as a convenience store. But a spokesman confirmed Tesco itself will not open one of its own stores there.
More than two years ago, the company overturned a decision preventing them converting the building into a Tesco Express after their proposal was originally thrown out by Wyre Forest District Council planning chiefs.
The plans prompted strong public protests, spearheaded by residents’ group Areley Kings First and planners originally turned the application down.
And, despite this opposition, Tesco appealed the decision and planning inspector Jenny Vyse found in the company’s favour.
But two months after this victory in early 2015 and with the Squirrel Inn closed as a pub, Tesco dropped its plans to create a store there because of doubts over its financial viability.
The future of the pub was thrown into doubt and it has remained closed since.
The latest application sees the company seeking a lawful development certificate and want to clarify exactly what it is able to do there.
They were originally granted permission to demolish existing outbuildings and the porch of the pub, create an extension to the back and replace the shopfront for the creation of the convenience store.
But Tesco’s lawyers say changes to planning law since January 2015 have led to “ambiguity” about what permission has been granted for the former pub.
A spokesman for Tesco said: “It is not a planning application. We are asking the council to clarify what permissions we have for the site.
“Once we have this clarification, we can then decide how to progress this. But as we have previously stated, it will not be a Tesco Express.”