A SPOKESMAN for Warners Budgens has said work on the new Hanley Road store is “going well” and is expected to open in “spring 2022”.

The site, which is already functioning as a petrol station, is set to feature a convenience store with a gym and staff apartment on the second floor. 

Plans received the backing of the district council's economic development officers who said it would bring up to 50 new jobs to the area.

The former Countrywide site was put up for sale in 2018, with planning applications being submitted the following year.

In July last year, we reported how the opening of the petrol station was postponed due to “incorrect pumps” being purchased by developers. 

Despite some continuing delays, Warners Budgens remains upbeat. A spokesman said: “Construction of the new supermarket has started, and all is going well. We hope to open in spring 2022.”

Malvern Hills District Council’s planning department has welcomed the plans. Simon Smith, economic development manager at MHDC, said: “The economic development team fully support this application.

“The site provides a rare opportunity to accommodate these proposals within the town.

“The proposal will bring significant investment to the town, regenerate a prominent brownfield site, create up to 50 new full time equivalent jobs and bring new retail and leisure provision to the area supporting the local economy.”

However, some have questioned the appearance of the new building. During discussions on the plans, town councillor Simon Yates said the applicants could do more to improve the look of the site.

He said: “When we saw it originally it was a bit dull. Now it is less dull but there is more they can do to make it look less like a prison block.

“It is not very pretty for one of the main entrances to the town and I think there is more they can do.”

Some who commented on the plans agreed. Chris Thorpe of Hanley Swan said: "Whilst I fully support the objectives of this application, I object strongly to the appearance of the building.

"The proposed plans appear to be based on the worst type of rectangular developments of the 60s and 70s.

"Its location means it may be the first thing that is seen entering Upton, a historic town, surely it can be made more attractive than a 1970s comprehensive school block.”