Birmingham & Black Country

Traders' anger over store Stirchley delay

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Media captionBarbara Nolan, who runs a cafe, said she didn't think she slept or ate for days when she first got eviction papers

Traders in Birmingham say they are angry the opening of a new Tesco store, first proposed 16 years ago, has been delayed for three more years.

Shops and homes in Stirchley received leaflets from the council telling them the development has been put back.

Trader Dennis Fellows said the area was "desolate" as some businesses had relocated to make way for the store in Hazelwell Lane.

Tesco said it hoped to begin demolition works on the site in the autumn.

Image caption Dennis and Susan Fellows said trade in Stirchley was almost "non-existent"

Conservative councillor Timothy Huxtable said there have been protracted legal arguments between Tesco and another supermarket which had caused delays.

He said Tesco first started buying land in 2001 with a view to opening in 2004, but it was now likely to open in 2017, making it 13 years behind schedule.

'No-one comes back'

Mr Fellows, 72, who has run a kitchen and bathroom store in Pershore Road for 49 years, said trade was "the worst it's ever been".

"We've suffered inconvenience and shops closing or moving... the community centre's now shut but nothing's being built.

"It's desolate here, trade is almost non existent."

Barbara and Bob Nolan, who run Bizzy B's cafe on Pershore Road, said they had been open for five years and had to leave by 31 August.

Mrs Nolan said they were talking to Tesco about the possibility of being able to stay open longer.

Image caption Mrs Nolan said they want to stay open for as long as possible

"We want to stay as long as we can - we've put our life savings into this."

A Tesco spokesperson said: "We're looking forward bringing a new store to Stirchley and continue to work hard to deliver our plans.

"We hope to begin demolition works on the site in the autumn and we'll be sure to update the local community as soon as we're able to confirm timescales for the build."

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