Friday, 15 July 2011

Sainsbury's survey shows 67% support

TWO thirds of people who responded to a Sainsbury's survey backed its plans for Dorridge.

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

Some 67 per cent, 603 people, backed the scheme while 16 per cent, 149, gave some support.

A further 16 per cent did not support the plan, that would demolish Forest Court, while 13, one per cent, did not clearly indicate their view.

The views were given at a February exhibition at the shopping centre and online.

The firm this week submitted a planning application in its bid for a 1,812sqm sales area store, six retail units, parking and a refurbished and extended doctors surgery.

A bigger scheme was rejected by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in March last year over parking and traffic fears and concern over its size.

But more people have opposed the scheme, 636, on the website of the Dorridge Residents Opposed to Village Superstore.

Sainsbury's listed the main messages of support as: excellent/much improved plans; will regenerate a run-down site; Dorridge needs this development; much better design; build it as soon as possible; should be supported/hope it gets permission.

The main comments against it were: store still too big; traffic increase; not enough parking;
concerned about impact of delivery lorries; keep central reservation at Poplar Way junction.

The central reservation has been kept under the plans.

The application says: “Where the site space allows it and where legitimate issues have been raised, the application proposals have been amended to address local residents’ concerns.

“These amends include a smaller store, and significant changes to the design. The
scheme also now includes more landscaping and means to promote greener forms of
travel such as the inclusion of cycle parking.

“Respondents in support of the revised plans have stated that the design
improvements have encouraged them to support the plans.

“Supporters, which make up the majority of the consultation respondents, agree that
Dorridge needs this development; that it will regenerate a run-down site; that it should
be supported when submitted to the council and built as soon as possible.

In a press release, Michael Adenmosun, Sainsbury’s regional development executive, said: “We are very pleased to have submitted our revised plans for Forest Court, and I would like to thank every single member of the community who has provided feedback to help us move towards this point.

“We are confident that the new plans will provide the community with an exciting and attractive development.

“The broad range of benefits that the scheme will deliver will ensure the long term vitality and viability of Dorridge centre as a vibrant hub of shopping, socialising and community services.”

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

What do you think? Leave your comments below. No registration required.

Click here to get stories by email.


  1. Update - DROVS are approaching 800 names on our Wall of Support. Using Sainsbury’s questionable maths, we now command the majority! (Of course, it’s not that simple.)

    Taking some of the points Sainsbury’s make....

    “much improved plans”. Of course the plans are an improvement on the last ones. Those were roundly rejected as being far too big and out of keeping with their surroundings. It would have been hard not to improve them!

    What have we seen of the true nature of the plan? Where’s the artist’s impression of a 50+m 4m high wall running along Forest Road or the rooftop car park radiating light and noise around the surrounding residential roads?

    “will regenerate a run-down site” Of course the site must be developed. Is this the only solution? Or the right one? Patently not!

    “A vibrant hub of shopping, socialising and community services” More PR puff; does that describe the kind of place we want this to be?

    If by “vibrant” Sainsbury’s are referring to the 400+ vehicles in and out of the car park at peak times or the 12 lorries rumbling to and from the store, then they may have a point!

    How much of a “shopping hub” do we want this to be? There’s a Waitrose coming to Knowle too don’t forget.

    Don’t let Sainsbury’s have it all their own way. Support DROVS and we can convince the planners that development on this scale will cause lasting damage to Dorridge.

  2. Those that actually care enough to go along to the exhibition are the voices that should be heard. Here a clear majority supporting the plans. Great news for the development of Dorridge!

  3. You must have been at different exhibition!

    I went along twice and did not meet anyone who supported the plans.

    If you consider that those who care enough to go along to the exhibition are the voices that should be heard then the whole plan gets a big resounding NO!

    Susan Earlswood Road

  4. It would be interesting to find out the figures split between positive and negative views provided at the exhibition and then positive and negative views provided online. That way, if the majority both online and the exhibition are positive views, then really that is what should go forward.

  5. I don't think this is an "either/or" situation, but a "yes but" one - I bet that the majority who were in support ALSO made comments about parking, store size etc.

  6. The online response figures are available in the planning application, in the community engagement paper. They were; support 111 (65%), support some 23 (13%), do not support 34 (20%) and not clearly indicated was 3 (2%).

  7. Forest Road resident16 July 2011 at 11:01

    I went to the exhibition, I am a DROVS supporter, I said I supported some of the proposal and I still do. BUT I don't support a store this size, I support improvements to the scheme. I will vehemently oppose this scheme on the basis of too large, insufficient parking, too much additional traffic and removing mature and healthy trees (as supported by the tree survey).
    The glossy bump Sainsburys have just put out dont mention the loss of pavement on Forest Road or the reduction to 1 hour parking, widening of Forest Road to make it 2 way traffic and therefore a motorway towards the store entrance. Nor does it mention the proposed 24 parking spaces in Dorridge Road, guess that will come as a shock to Dorridge Road residents as well.
    Basically and as supported by the council, Sainsburys are woefully short of parking spaces for a store of this size and in their documents state that users of other village amenities will be expected to park on the road. This at a time when residents are campaigning to get on-road parking restricted by the council.
    There are some good points to the scheme, most people want a reasonable store, but this is too big for the surrounding roads and parking to support and that gets a massive thumbs down. We unfortunately fight against this scheme - what a shame Sainsburys didnt offer us something more sympathetic and we could have ALL sat back and looked forward to it taking shape.

  8. I support the plans and so do every one of my friends and family. I've yet to meet anybody opposing them. 800 names in an area of this size is pretty embarrassing for the DROVS.

  9. ... and you could argue that 603 people in favour is also embarrassing in my opinion. The DROVS campaign is anything but embarrassing. Unfortunately the vast majority of residents have yet to engage with the detail of the plan. There is an awful amount of information to be waded through and no doubt some horrors lurking. For example ... I couldn't help but wonder how fair is it for residents to be awoken at 5am by large lorries trundling in! Are we seriously expected to believe that this will be a minor inconvenience for those concerned!

  10. I think it is interesting to compare and contrast the approaches of Sainsbury's and Waitrose. Waitrose seem to have consulted with the community in Knowle and then changed their plans considerably. Sainsbury's revised plan is twice the size of Waitrose. It is only 14% smaller than before. Everyone supports the redevelopment of Forest Court, what we want is a Dorridge sized Sainsbury's, not something the size of Morrisons in Solihull. Does anyone know the actual wording which generated a 67% majority?

  11. To the person above... It says that "The views were given at a February exhibition at the shopping centre and online."

    So following an expensive exhibition complete with a scale model of their plans, several large displays and attendant experts in traffic, planning, PR and and retail development, Sainsbury's could only persuade 600 people to support the development.

    And they laughably call this "consulting the community".

    At this rate, it would be cheaper to bus those who want the store over to Sainsbury's Shirley every week. Never mind "swift bricks" that would really minimise their carbon footprint!

    Matthew, DROVS supporter

  12. There is danger in the unscientific appraisal of surveys. 'Nine out of ten owners said that their cats preferred it' is not the same as 'nine out of ten owners WHO EXPRESSED A PREFERENCE'. The reasons for not responding will be familiar to us all. some won't care.. but others are too busy/ distracted/ lose the form.. reasons are countless. And the response rate will vary with how and when the survey was delivered.
    Secondly, and crucially, the answers will depend on the question. In this case, the survery didn't ask 'would you like a supermarket in Dorridge'- but made the supposition that respondants would. The survery asked whether people would like to be able to shop in Dorridge (who would say no?).. and the next question is 'what size of supermarket would you like- small/medium/large'? Further, scales are not defined. I wonder what the answer woudl have been if people were asked 'would you like a very big out-of-town-sized superstore in Dorridge, which will draw on (by sainsbury's estimate) twice as many people from OUTSIDE Doridge as those within?
    Indeed- the absolute count of people 'for' in this survey is in reality LESS than the total against who have signed the DROV 'Wall' 'against'.
    Finally, there is the issue of impact. Modelling suggests that traffic flows could add a car every 10 seconds to Station road. The issue ill be pollution, noise, road safety, and road denial to other users. These impacts, of course, may be considered tolerable by some when weighed against any value of convenience shopping. But they should be considered by all.
    So- caution please. on available data, the absolute nuimber 'against' exceeds that 'for'.. and 'snapshot' survey reporting can be misleading if not critically performed.

  13. Having just checked the "Wall of Support" I note that the number still stands at below 650. Therefore, where does "approaching 800" come from?

  14. It was approaching 800 when I checked it for the story, 790 if I remember correctly. DROVS will have to answer why it has fallen.

  15. Hello. To clear up the confusion on numbers

    We had two "totalisers" for the Wall of Support - one on the home page and another on the support page. The one on the home page had the correct figure of 756 - but we changed our homepage the other day.

    Our volunteers will try to update the remaining totaliser today. (Oh for a professional PR team like Sainsbury's!)

    As it happens, 756 is a conservative estimate of our support; we have fresh names coming in daily at the moment and we've yet to count many of the new names coming in via our website and signature sheets from local shops.


  16. Absolutely dead against the Sainsbury's development and will not be supporting them at any time and will continue shopping elsewhere.