Saturday, 4 June 2011

Dorridge Sainsbury's on Midlands Today

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Dorridge featured on Midlands Today last night.


Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

It featured in a package about the firm’s expansion plans for the West Midlands by Jackie Kabler, who pointed to the “run down” and “dilapidated” Forest Court, which Sainsbury’s wants to demolish for the store.

Ian Shearman, from the Dorridge Residents Opposed to Village Superstore campaign group, told the programme: “Drawing in too many people from too far, causing traffic congestion, car parking problems and general environmental pollution, noise pollution and so on.

“In other words, the store is too big for the village.”


But nail bar owner Geraldine Walton said: “It’s quite a mixed view I think a lot of people are quite apprehensive about such a large store and the amount of traffic.

“Do you know what, in five years time, no-one will even be thinking about that.”


Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: “It’s a little bit of an unknown quantity because it all depends on where we are able to get planning consent.

“But if you took the wider West Midlands region I wouldn’t be surprised if it was three to four thousand jobs in the wider West Midlands region over that three year period.”

To watch the package click here (4m10s).

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  1. Justin King's comments on job creation are vague and misleading - they're simply designed to pulll the wool over people's eyes and win support from planners.

    Arguably supermarkets don't create new jobs at all - they just move them from one section of the economy to another.

    In fact, as a recent Retail Gazette investigation shows, despite Tesco and Sainsbury’s increasing their retail floor space by over 2,750,000 sq ft in the last year, their employee numbers have actually fallen by more than 400. (Source:

  2. As it said in the article, in a few years time nobody will think twice about the size of the supermarket and the DROVS will be using it as much as anybody else.

    Just stop getting in the way of progress with all this petulant, nimby whining. I've quite had enough of the incessant bleating....

  3. Didnt we have to put up with all this obstructive handwringing when " Touchwood " was proposed ! Dorridge centre is a scruffy dump ,more like an inner city factory estate than a semi rural village ! The amusing angle is that many of the objectors are the very people who will virtually live in Sainsburys once it is up and running !

  4. It's ridiculous to imply that objectors won't or shouldn't use the store.

    We want a store! We want development!

    We just don't see why a supermarket should dwarf Dorridge and any other retail concern in the village, now and in the future.

    The negative comments on here are most unrepresentative of the support wee get when we talk to people locally and thank goodness! Don't all major developments like this deserve scrutiny?

    Again we ask: can the (as usual anonymous) people above point to a store of this magnitude in a similar residential area? We've yet to hear of one.

  5. I've yet to meet anybody outside of the DROVS who doesn't want this. I can only express my dis-appointment in the obstacles the DROVS are putting in the developments way.

    All the negativity seems to be coming from the DROVS from what I've read.

  6. I've lived in the area for 30 years and am 100% behind this development. There will always be a vocal minority that rail against developments such as these but the benefits will far outweigh the negatives.

    As on of the previous posters mentioned, there was the same sort of negativity with Touchwood and that has proved to be a massive success.

    If Sainsburys cannot make this a viable project, then somebody else will step in and we'll end up with one of these projects like Asda in Shirley where it goes on for years and the site lies dormant and dilapidated in ever worse states of repair.

    Please stop getting in the way of progress and allow them to re-vitalise the area.

  7. I have lived in the area for 36 years and whilst in favour of development on an appropriate scale am totally opposed to Sainsbury's current proposal.

    I supermarket of a smaller size would be fantastic.

    Sainsbury's over-development of the site would blight our VILLAGE.

  8. A supermarket of a smaller size would be just as restrictive and useless as Tesco in Knowle. I've lost count of the amount of times I've gone to Tesco, found that I can't get half of what is on my shopping list and then had to drive over to one of the superstores on the Stratford Road.
    I'm not sure where this extra traffic is meant to come from. The people in the local area have been shown to get in their cars and drive to the superstores which still means they are driving through the area. By having this new development in Dorridge, more people will be able to walk there. Additionally it will sort out the dismal parking arrangements at the moment which are verging on the dangerous at busy times.

  9. I don't think the Sainsbury's will or should have to sort out Dorridge's 'dismal parking arrangements.' They will build a store appropriate to the needs of this area as it is now with its new housing estates with parking to match, which I am for. However, I would like to see DDRA and people involved in DROVs applying themselves to pressurising Chiltern railways to provide more parking for commuters as these are the people clogging up side-roads. This would be a much more constructive use of their time and have a real impact.

  10. I agree with the extra traffic comment above. We all drive to other stores now so making a shorter journey to the new Dorridge store will reduce time spent on the roads. I drive up to knowle and to Monkspath on a regular basis at the moment and look forward to the shorter journey and will walk when the weather is fine.
    Also agree parking for the station is horrendous - I thought there was talk of a two storey car park behind st philips?? which sounds like a good idea

  11. You may have a shorter journey to the new store but how will you park when you get there.

    A store of the proposed size is too big for a village to support and of necessity will draw in customers from futher afield ...BY CAR along narrow roads with narrow pavements. The pupils from Arden already spill out on to the carriageway, how long before there is a sad accident. View the curbing on the roundabout by Knowle cricket ground, regularly destroyed by lorries unable to negoiate the tight turns. Now imagine the additional delivery lorries for Sainsbury.

    I don't believe the response concerning the store in the centre of Solihull. I belive its days are numbered and the company is preparing the way for those customers to use a bright new store in Dorridge.

    Please doin't sleep walk into this disaster for our VILLAGE.

  12. I will park in the car park provided - Sainsbury's have some expertise in providing correct amount of parking for their stores. The DROVs are scaremongers - there is no evidence that a store this size draws customers from any significant distance away. If it was a Waitrose it might, that being perceived as something 'special' to some people, but there is plenty of ACTUAL evidence that most people go to their nearest store if it is of an appropriate size.
    DROVS keep talking as though 2x and 3x the size of Knowle is some massive difference in terms of traffic and deliveries etc but never acknowledge that 7 large lorries 5 smaller ones become 4/5 large ones and 2/3 smaller ones - hardly earth shattering. I would be interested to know the REAL difference between customer nos too, but all we seem to get back from the drovs is nonsense about people being killed on the roads and predictions of gridlock!

  13. Agree with the above.
    Would like some genuine, factual discussion.

  14. Sainsburys will not create a car park that is too small as it is counter productive. If people can't park, they can't shop. They will take into account volumes required at busy times of the year e.g. Xmas and so for the rest of the year parking will be plentiful.
    When they get round to building this, I will aim to walk or cycle to the store and not use the car. Something I can't do at the moment.

  15. Drove through Dorridge this morning on my way to Monkspath Tesco. The state of the shops on Station Approach is pretty diabolical rotting wood on the gable ends and peeling paint. I understand Sainsbury's is to do these neglected buildings up as part of the redevelopment, that horrible toilet block by the doctor's will go, even the carpark will look better, pretty horrible at the moment.
    As people said above parking/ gridlock / deaths on the roads unlikely.
    Think it will pull the whole area up.

  16. DROVS online newsletter now saying only 200 of the 3,000 to 4,000 jobs Sainsbury's hope to create in the west midlands will be in Dorridge. 'Only'?? 200 new jobs in the local area will be great.Seems Sainsbury's can't win with the DROVS who do not see to understand the meaning of compromise.

  17. Solihull Council has advised that Sainsburys are still trying to sort out the parking issue. Spaces available in their proposed car park are insufficient for this size of store - there is a set calculation based on car numbers to floor area of store and on this basis their parking proposals fall extremely short. This IS an issue, it is not scaremongering. There is currently no alternative for parking in the centre of Dorridge. People doing a weekly shop will not walk, not scaremongering, a weightlifter couldn't walk home with my weekly shop!
    In exchange for an oversized store, Dorridge stands to lose its magnificent trees. Witness the litter outside Tesco on a Saturday/Sunday morning - do you think Sainsbury's will be cleaner? Nobody will care two hoots about the butcher and off-licence once they can buy their meat and booze on a 3 for 1 offer - not scaremongering - realistic. Do you think there will be lots of lovely cashier jobs? Tesco was totally self-service for much of last week, one guy filling shelves. The situation on jobs is suspect. Go into this with your eyes open!

  18. I would like to know the answers to the following questions as obviously solid information helps individuals to make assessments on the potential impact the store will have.
    What's the calculation for working out car spaces to store space?
    What EXACTLY does 'fall extremely short' mean in terms of nos?
    Who has Solihull Council advised that Sainsbury's are 'still trying to sort out the parking issue'?

  19. Why wouldn't Sainsbury's be cleaner? There is no litter problem outside Knowle Tesco or Monkspath Tesco come to that. More likely to be cleaner as Sainsbury's will have a vested interest in keeping it that way. Another example of conjecture based on no facts whatsoever.

  20. Hi Silhillian
    Any chance you can verify that Solihull Council has advised that Sainsbury's are still trying to sort out the parking and that it falls extremely short.
    There was a rumour of two storey parking behind st philips which would be great. Who was going to develop that if it is true?

  21. the best result for Dorridge in this matter will be that the develpment goes ahead and extra parking is provided at the chiltern car park.With Station Approach smartened up, new cafe in place and the area made more friendly for wheelchair and buggy users. What a boost for Dorridge!

  22. I guess you don't live at the bottom end of Manor Road then....and don't care about those that do.

  23. 200 jobs includes part-time ones, Saturday assistants etc. It's not like saying 200 FTE (full-time equivalent). Those jobs will come from other retailers - increase demand for supervisors at Sainsbury's Dorridge, decreased demand at Tesco Shirley...

    Whether any jobs are actually 'created' is by all objective measures very debatable. Sainsbury's aren't growing the economy as a whole are they?! Don't accept what they say at face value.


  24. My friend lived in the vicarage for a while - bottom of Manor Road. They had some noise from the car-park, mainly kids kicking a ball against the wall the weekend. Not convinced expanding it would make much difference except that it might mean that all the commuters parking down manor road would disappear, especially if some parking restrictions were put in place on that road.

  25. Matthew as usual you talk such sense.
    Of course Sainsbury are not creating jobs , they are just moving them from one retail outlet to another.

    How blind some people are.

    Lies, dam lies and statistics!!!!

  26. Building a second deck on the car park behind the Total garage might help the street parking around the station. Whilst there is free parking available within a reasonable distance many commuters will take that option, and who can blame them given the squeeze on family incomes ( 20% hike in gas prices yesterday).

    I can't see many people wanting to park there to do their shopping at Sainsbury or visit the doctor. Unless Sainsbury decide to install a trolley park there and add to the traffic chaos as people try to push them acrss Station Road.

    Whatever way you look at it the current parking proposals are not enough for the store Sainsbury want to build.

    Of course Forest Court is an eyesore but we need a store fit for a village not for a town centre.

  27. If parking restrictions even of 2 or 3 hours were put on the streets local to the station then commuters would have to park in the new car park. Obviously, Sainsbury's customers would park in the store carpark. We have to look at what can be done to improve things not just keep knocking suggestions put forward. Individuals using the church hall facilities could park in the car park too. I would like to see all these cars off the residentional streets locally. What exactly do you suggest to improve the problem? Which exists without Sainsbury's being the cause

  28. You are right the problem exists now. A multi-storey car park that charges people to use it and an overlarge store will not help matters. People are already paying petrol to drive to the station and paying to use the trains, then expected to pay to park their car as well. I think this is a bit rich. You don't have to pay at Widney Manor, nor Solihull as far as I know.

    If Sainsburys has a vested interest in keeping the place cleaner, how come Tesco's don't bother, don't they have a vested interest too? I've watched rats on a few occasions playing in the litter in the Tesco Monkspath car park. The litter isn't the problem of the Supermarkets, it's the customers who drop it. But will the supermarkets be employing cleaners to get it up - maybe these are the hundreds of jobs they are talking about.
    I understand the car parking ratio based on TRICS data is such that the current proposed store size would require 325 spaces based on 1 space per ? square meters of supermarket sales floor space and this is without the need for spaces for surgery visitors, nail bars, hairdressers etc. So they do fall extremely short, no question! But perhaps customers will be happy to push their wonky trolleys down the hill, across the road, under the bridge, up the ramp and into the multi-storey at the back of the garage - I'm afraid I won't!!! But then again, with Waitrose in Knowle I can see a line of traffic from Dorridge doing their shop in Knowle and the same line coming back to shop in Dorridge. And didn't someone way Tesco Knowle want to expand into the sorting office. And if you don't fancy any of those options, you can have it delivered by Asda, Ocado, etc etc etc.

  29. One thing's clear from this debate: we need a joined-up solution.

    Surely it's not beyond the realms of possibility and good planning to come up with a solution for Knowle and Dorridge where there are just enough supermarkets of the right size, provision for truly independent shops (not owned by Sainsbury's!) You could also get Chiltern, the DDRA, the schools and doctors involved and sort out the traffic flow and parking while you're at it.

    Instead we're all dancing to Sainsbury's tune.

    I understand the phrase "let the market decide" but since when was it "let the supermarket decide?"

    Matthew, Utopia Close, Dorridge

  30. Right again do you fancy standing at the next local council elections?....You would get my vote.

  31. Haha - thank you!


  32. @Matthew:
    'provision for truly independent shops (not owned by Sainsbury's!)'

    What is the fascination with the truly independent local shops? As previously pointed out, for me and many like me who go out to work, they're absolutley no use whatsoever with their restrictive opening hours.

    Sainsburys will be a god send, allowing the thousands of people who are at work all week and have other commitments on a Saturday to shop when it is convenient for them.

    Until local shops start responding to the needs of the customer, then I'm afraid they will struggle to maintain their existance.

    The only shop in Dorridge I can think of that will be affected by this will be the butchers and as somebody who has used all of the local butchers, would comment that the one half a mile up the road in Bentley Heath is far superior in terms of quality and choice so hardly a problem is it?


  33. Hi Dick. I'm not in retail. But, if I were to run an independent shop in Dorridge, I would make sure it was open when people were on their way to and from the railway station. I would also offer an online delivery service (perhaps in partnership with other local traders).

    Local shops used to do this and thrive. Today, I agree: most local traders don't know the meaning of entrepreneurial; they haven't moved with the times and they wonder why the supermarkets are taking their business.

    I do think that the next generation of shopkeepers might have that spark - but with a whacking great Sainsbury's monopolising the market, what chance do they have of getting off the ground?


  34. Matthew,

    I've lived in the area for 30 years and Dorridge has been the same in all that time. It refuses to move forward. If it was a thriving village centre with a good selection of shops that served the community properly I'd have some sympathy but it's not. It's a collection of hairdressers and take aways which will all benefit from Sainsburys.


  35. Dick - be very clear the Sainsbury's is not purely for Dorridge's benefit. It is designed to attract shoppers from many miles around.

  36. I lived in Dorridge before the take aways and hairdressers, when it was still a village and when people didn't hop in their 4 x 4s to make a school run. The only way you will make Dorridge a village again is to change the mentality of the residents and that just isn't going to happen! It's full of "not on my front door thank you" people, which is why I moved to Worcestershire - no snobs, lots of countryside, beautiful open spaces and above all sensible planning not business revenue-driven, which destroyed the green belt around Solihull/Shirley. The residents of Dorridge have no-one to blame but themselves for not using the local shops and for losing the village appeal.

  37. to 23 July 09.00
    Unfortunately, I think you are absolutely right!