Thursday, 14 July 2011

Planning application submitted for Dorridge Sainsbury's

A PLANNING application has been submitted for a Sainsbury’s plan for Dorridge, moving the firm closer to a decision on the controversial Forest Court scheme.

Dorridge_view_1_-_from_car_park_of_Arden_Buildings - Copy

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

The application was put in this week to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, which will have the final say on the plans.

It is expected the plans will go to the council's planning committee, which meets in public, in the autumn.

It proposes an 1,812sqm store, 26 per cent smaller than a 2,460sqm plan thrown out by the council last year. The existing shopping centre would be demolished.

Yet the overall size, as previously reported by The Silhillian, will be 14 per cent smaller, from 5,140sqm to 4,414sqm.

Six other shops units will be provided, four along Station Road, and two at the store front by the present steps of the shopping centre. A restaurant will be provided on the first floor.

Customer access would be via Avenue Road to a car park slightly higher than Forest Road.

This would provide 179 spaces compared to 213 under the store in the previous plan and 91 now.

One analysis showed the car park would be 95 per cent full at peak times, Saturdays, and says and says noise from cars will be ‘negligible’ and of ‘minor significance’.

Yet another analysis acknowledges 181 spaces may be needed on Saturday at 11am but said these would be available elsewhere in Dorridge.

It proposes parking restrictions on the eastern side of Forest Road, restricting parking to an hour from 6am to 8pm.

Between 20 and 35 staff will use the car park at one time, it says. The firm estimates the development will create 200 jobs.

The car park would be shut with a barrier when the store is closed to deter anti-social behaviour. Street parking will be enough for use of other businesses, it adds.

The application says the council recently began enforcing the two hour limit at Forest Court in May and this had moved commuter parking into the car park behind the Total garage.

Yet it said there were still spaces at this car park, which charges £3 a day to meet demand.

It comes after The Silhillian this week revealed the council gave out no parking tickets at Forest Court in the 12 months from April 2010.

It says the current two hour limit will remain for all visitors and attendants will monitor cars with a handheld computer with £70 fines for those who overstay.

Patients at the doctors' surgery who require a longer stay will be exempt.

Total village spaces would rise from 319 to 464, it adds.

It adds: “Traffic associated with the development can be accommodated on the network and that the proposed car parking provision is sufficient to cater for the demands of the site and indeed Dorridge village.”

It estimates some 224 vehicles will enter the site and 232 leave between 4.45pm and 5.45pm on Fridays, one of its busiest times, compared to 358 and 370 in the previous plan.

And it says traffic has fallen over the last five years. Commentators have put a fall in UK traffic down to the recession and rising petrol prices.

The store would open from 8am to 10pm with deliveries from 5am to 10pm with lorries leaving by 11pm. Access would be via Station Road.

The central reservation on Station Road opposite Poplar Road will be retained after proposals to remove it were dropped.

This concerned some who feared cars will not be able to wait in the middle of the road, backing up traffic on Poplar Road.

The application says: “The driving rationale for the proposals is the need for a foodstore
in Dorridge able to retain trade locally.

“It is evident that a new store will significantly reduce the distance customers are currently travelling to undertake their food shopping.”

It adds: “The comprehensive scheme will assist in the creation of a heart for Dorridge,
improving the healthcare offer in the area, strengthening the vitality and viability of the village centre and will build on the unique character of the area.”

The last plan was refused over lack of parking, extra traffic and the store size.

To view the application click here and enter 2011 and 1107 in the two boxes.

Click here for previous Sainsbury's stories from The Silhillian.

NOTE: A couple of errors about the number of staff parking and the central reservation have been amended at 3.40pm.

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  1. Fantastic news! Let's hurry up and get this built, can't wait.

  2. Can someone please tell me where sainsburys staff will park? Are they included in the general store parking?

  3. The staff will park in the main car park. There's a lot of data provided with the application I need to go through. Predicting traffic flows is a notoriously unreliable art!

  4. "Can't wait".

    It's not an ice cream or the latest Harry Potter.

    It's a whacking great store in a not-so-big location. That demands a little more thought I'd say.

    Woo and indeed hoo!

    Does anyone these days care about anything beyond their own daily requirements? *sighs*


  5. Exactly! "Can't wait!" Sounds like a spoilt, impatient, unthinking child who wants a goody - any old goody... until they get tired of it.

  6. If the application provides for the staff to park in the main car park, why then did the Sainsburys traffic man at their recent exhibition advise everyone that staff would not be allowed to park on site and that 80% of the staff would live in walking distance??

    What else have they changed?!

  7. They have changed waiting times in Dorridge Road and Forest Road to one hour rather than no restrictions which is currently how it works. These "long stay" vehicles will be pushed to behind the Total Garage in the long stay car park - with a fee for doing so of course! Also the store is now planning to be open until 10pm Mon-Sat ... I'm sure the initial plan was for 8pm only - is this the compromise locals have to pay for asking for a smaller store - too high price a price in my humble opinion.

  8. Look closely at all the documents and there are a lot of them. There are lots of extra things that are well hidden and not included in Sainsbury's glossy just circulated. Longer opening times, deliveries from 5am to 11pm, widening of Forest Road for 2 way traffic plus 1 hour parking, plus no pavement on the store side - great for all those families who walk their kids to school. Plus parking on Dorridge Road, removal of the roundabout at the station and the expectation that Sainsbuyrs will keep their car park for themselves whilst pushing other village users onto on-road parking. What about the elderly and infirm having to park in Dorridge Road and walking across to the doctors. I dont suppose all these people who have supported the doctors' petition realise that this is what they have signed up for.
    I notice as well that there are changes to parking on Station Approach to the direction for parking and seemingly parking across the entrance to Forest Hotel delivery yard.

    For the second time Sainsburys are planning to impose on Dorridge an oversized store and in doing so propose to change the roads, parking, greenery and more.
    It's disgusting and I hope the Planning Committee see it for what it is.

  9. This is what The Silhillian reported from the February exhibition:

    "Sainsbury’s spokesman Sue Bailey could not give proposed opening hours but said similar stores opened from 8am to 8pm or 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday."

  10. There's only a net increase of something like 90 car parking spaces. (When I went to Forest Court on Friday to collect a prescription there were 48 cars there; the card shop was closed and the Italian restaurant yet to open. Don't forget that staff for the existing shops have to park somewhere!)

    I find the Chiltern car park is usuallly 80-90% full after about 8.40am on a weekday.

    Anyway, you can't walk across the road over there with a trolley.

    Because it's on the roof, the car park can't be extended without making the store bigger.

    I do want a Sainsbury's on Forest Court but I'm writing to oppose these plans as it's obvious even to a layman that they have got it so badly wrong for us in Dorridge!

  11. Just heard about this site from a friend and we want to say that the Sainsburys plans are crazy!
    We're not OAPs (no offence!!) or snobs, but we like the way of life in Dorridge just as it is. Its quiet but not too quiet, you can walk to the train station and you need not worry about kids going and seeing friends round the village or riding there bikes. This supermarket is a bit like replacing the Forest (which is great by the way) with a big Wetherspoons pub.

  12. What was the reason the council suddenly introduced a 2 hour time limit, pressure from sainsbury perhaps, now traders are forced to park in the slip road causing congestion.

  13. Let us all hope and pray that Sainsbury are not allowed to get away with this ill conceived plan.

    Pity the poor people living in Forest Road....noise daily from 5am until 11pm.

    All those people posting their support clearly don't live on any of the affected roads and have no concern for those that do.

  14. My understanding was that Sainbury repeatly stated their staff would not be allowed to use their car park . This about face means even more pressure on a car park already too small for the huge store of town centre proportions.

  15. Splendid news, about time Dorridge moved out of the dark ages....

  16. I am also right behind this. Having a larger store just means more choice rather than another useless store like Tesco in Knowle.

  17. Fully support Sainsbury's coming to Dorridge. Generous of them to supply a loading bay for Tesco's deliveries. Why has no-one complained about their lorries blocking the pavement? Surely a hazard for parents walking their children to school - not that we see as much of that as we would like! Dorridge (and Knowle) residents are too dependent on cars, hence nearly full carpark. Buses? Bikes? Walk? Roads used as drivers don't want to pay!

  18. Dorridge resident since 1965 - fed up with the decline of the village - this is the best thing that could happen. No investor will build what DROVS wants, nor should they, it would shut and be a white elephant in no time. This is the best we can expect and having read the plans and details I have emailed councillors, the council and local press asking them to support the planning application. ITS NOT PERFECT. its the best we can get. Without this the whole village will die. Sainsburys own the centre now and they will elt it get empty until plans are approved (not nice but normal practice)

  19. Dorrdige resident since 1965...

    If no investor would build a c.1200 sqm supermarket (as DROVS proposed) why are Waitrose more than happy to build a smaller store down the road in Knowle? And why is Tesco runnnig a very profitable smaller store there?

    "Without this the whole village will die". Not so. A smaller store will would both draw in trade and allow let other independent retaillers to thrive. (Dovehouse Parade in Olton has some great shops - plus a small supermarket)

    If this is the "best we can get" then why bother with the planning process at all? Just let whoever owns the site do exactly what they want, with no consideration of the bigger picture.


  20. In the name of nosiness I have today visited Sainsbury's stores in Warwick and Kenilworth,both similar sized stores to the one proposed for Dorridge. I hoped that this would allay my fears for Sainsbury's plans for Dorridge and that I would find a superstore in the middle of the village 'not as bad as I expected'. Well I have to say both stores are horrible, ugly brick buidings surrounded by litter and trolleys. Kenilworth is accessed from a town centre high street via traffic lights, Warwick is on the main road into Warwick town centre, both with easy access roads and in rather downmarket areas of the towns.
    I shudder to think that Sainsburys are trying to squeeze a town centre sized store into our small village centre. Warwick and Kenilworth and the areas the stores are in bear no relation to Dorridge, with its nearby schools and pleasant leafy residential side roads. Didn't estate agents used to call it a golden triangle?! I fear no more.
    To allow this to go ahead will be the ruination of our village.
    I am all for progress, I don't mind supermarkets, I want to see the back of Forest Court. But we need to replace it with something much more pleasing, not just the same old ugly building, trolleys and rubbish.

  21. The building proposed is far more attractive than the Warwick store, for example. I fail to understand why opponents keep referring to it as a "superstore". Shirley is, but not the one proposed here. Dorridge is already filled with litter. I'm sure Sainsbury's will be more responsible than the current tenants of Dorridge stores who allow litter to build up.

  22. "The building proposed is far more attractive than the Warwick store".

    Is it?

    Granted it looks fairly quaint in the front-on shot Sainsbury's show - but look again at the aerial shot

    The whole store is underground (no natural light) and the visible part is a sprawling rooftop carpark. Imagine that all lit up at 10pm.

    Now, imagine you could rotate that view 180 degrees. What can the residents of Forest Road see? A brick wall, around 3-4m high running all the way along that side of the development. A few saplings won't make a great deal of difference there.

    This is a town-centre sized store in a residential location. Don't forget: Sainsbury's pay good money to Gough Bailey Wright for their persuasive PR and visual creativity. They are only going to show us the very best views of this. It's up to us to imagine the reality, which will be far worse than the flattering sketches we've seen.


  23. What do Forest Road residents see at the moment?! The view of the Court has never been an attractive one from that aspect, nor from the bottom end of Avenue Road.
    The centre of Dorridge is not a residential location, not has it been since the two precincts were built.

  24. I beg to differ. Have you ever visited the centre, walked down Forest Road, Avenue Road, Station Road which surround the centre? These are family homes, Dorridge centre is residential on 3 of its 4 sides, in fact there are also flats over the Station Approach shops as well. If these homes aren't residential, what do you think they are used for?

    the current view from Forest Road isn't great in winter, but in summer with the silver birches, the ugly building is almost totally screened. It won't be as Sainsburys. Anyway, why replace one ugly building with another ugly building, isn't this the opportunity to make it look better?

  25. I love Dorridge just the way it is, so do my children and so do my parents. Admittedly Forest Court is an eyesore but now is the opportunity to improve it not make it 50 times worse. Our friends and family live in Avenue Road and for obvious reasons are dead against this development.

  26. 11:07 It's so unfair that your family will bear the brunt of the traffic, and all in the name of progress and convenience. I personally would prefer to stay in the dark ages. (Bring on the name calling....) I think the residents of Avenue Rd are going to see a huge rise in traffic, along with families on Forest Rd and Station Rd. ( the figures are mind blowing) I can imagine that users of the store heading towards Knowle will leave via the ramp on Avenue Rd and head right up to the top and left onto Grove road rather than wait in line to turn right onto Station Rd via Forest Rd. I never thought I would ever say that i feel sorry for people living on Avenue Rd. The properties are beautiful, and it's disgusting that the entire way of life for many people will be ruined. Even Dorridge Rd has made it's way into the parking provision this time around. Obviously aiming to encourage even more parking in residental roads. Will this be the overspill for The Forest (car park regularly full ) or aimed at patrons of the independant restaurant. They will not want their cars locked in the Sainsbury's car park. Maybe there is provision somewhere in those documents, but i havent found it yet.

  27. Although I now live in NZ, I have strong ties to Dorridge, a place I love dearly. I grew up in Dorridge and my parents still live there, - in Avenue Road!
    To those that believe Dorridge is dead, please consider this. On a recent trip back "home" I found a village that was looking as beautiful as ever, filled with a good mix of young families and the retired and elderly and I witnessed first hand the neighbourliness of these families. I supported the local shops and was treated as if I had never left, I used public transport to get about and always entered into conversations with the locals and was greeted like a regular by the bus drivers. I walked past the Forest on summer evenings and witnessed people having fun and relaxing at their local after a busy day. I passed the time of day with other walkers both in the lovely park and on the roads. No-one knew who I was but I was made to feel very much part of a warm and welcoming community. I envy you the lifestyle you all enjoy. Treasure what you have.
    Dorridge is a unique place in a way,it has a semi rural feel to it but is so close to all amenities, surely it has the best of both worlds. This is not a village in the "Dark Ages" this is a happy place to live where family life is more important than the latest superstore.
    Where I live I travel 30 mins to my nearest shop, if I want a larger choice of groceries I travel 1 1/4 hrs (also my doctor etc.), if I want the sort of choice you people have I would have to travel 3 1/2 hrs, in fact to get your range I would probably have to travel to the other island!!
    I agree Forest Court definitely needs replacing and a supermarket would be good but it should be able to fit in to the village without disrupting people's lives and destroying its character . Surely it should compliment the village not dominate it. I feel very much for the elderly and families with young children who live in the vicinity of the proposed new development, maybe everyone else should give them a thought when making the decision whether to support such a large store, does it really have to be this big!! Be thankful it is not at the bottom of your garden!! where your morning alarm could be a Sainsbury's delivery truck. Does a company that submits such a plan for a residential village "really" care about it, - I am not so sure. At the end of the day it is first and foremost a business and a very large one at that.
    Yes, Forest Court has been neglected and my heart went out to the NZ native Cabbage Trees that were slowly dying in the court gardens (please someone rescue them!!) but I didn't see the rubbish that people are talking about.
    As you have probably gathered I love Dorridge- just the way it is!
    I appreciate the opportunity to "blog" thank you.

  28. Your observations are spot on. Perhaps you could forward your comments to the local newspaper, please. The points you make may just awaken some people from their apathy regarding this development. Drovs, thank heavens for them, are trying their level best, but some people are not prepared to challenge sainsburys in the slightest but there must be something which will strike a chord, if it's not the cold hard facts and figures that drovs supply then what? Fortunately there are a good number of objections going into the council, and some very interesting comments being made. On this issue there simply cannot be enough objections though. Your post has been very uplifting for a Sunday morning in Dorridge.

  29. Thank you. Too often we don't appreciate what we have until it is lost. I will try and forward the comments to a paper this week. You certainly have a difficult battle on your hands, I only wish I was still in Dorridge and able to help. Best wishes to everyone involved.