Sunday, 17 July 2011

Spot the difference: Sainsbury's and the press

BELOW are articles by the Solihull News, Solihull Observer and the Sainsbury's press release on the planning application for a store in Dorridge.

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


Solihull News website:

SAINSBURY'S has submitted its revised development plans for Forest Court in Dorridge to Solihull Council.

The move follows extensive public consultation with the local community, including workshops and questionnaires, public exhibitions, consultation brochures, focus groups and various meetings with a broad range of local stakeholders.

• A Sainsbury’s foodstore with a 19,500 sq ft (1,812 sq m) ground-floor sales area
• A 175-space car park above the store, accessed from Avenue Road
• Stairs, lifts and travelators providing access between the two levels
• Dedicated disabled and parent & child facilities, including parking near to the store entrance
• The extension and refurbishment of the existing doctors’ surgery
• Dedicated premises in the development for the local pharmacy
• Six additional smaller retail units along Station Road
• Space for an independent restaurant
• A public square with benches, landscaping and pedestrian links to the Arden Buildings
• Traffic calming measures and pedestrian links around the development site
• A fully enclosed service yard on Station Road
• An overall design complementing the architecture of the Station Approach buildings
• New trees and planting

The proposed service vehicle route has also been altered to prevent delivery vehicles using Knowle High Street.
Sainsbury’s previous application was refused by SMBC’s planning committee in March 2010, despite being recommended for approval by the planning officer.

Solihull Observer website:

REVISED development plans for Forest Court in Dorridge have been submitted to by supermarket giant Sainsbury's.
The new proposal sees a 26 per cent reduction in the overall size of the store, improved design and landscaping, improved pedestrain safety on the surrounding roads and the retention and extension of the existing doctors' surgery.
The plans have been submitted following extensive public consultation with the local community over the past 18 months, including workshops and questionnaires, public exhibitions, consultation brochures, focus groups and various meetings with a broad range of local stakeholders.
A previous application for a large store was rejected by Solihull Council's planning committee, which will once again be asked to decide the fate of the outdated Forest Court shopping centre in the heart of Dorridge.
Speaking about the revised plans, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive, Michael Adenmosun, 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.
He added: “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.”
The detailed plans are now available to view at the Solihull Council offices or online at http://www.solihull.gov.uk/planning/dc/ViewApp.asp.
For more information, residents can visit the updated website at www.sainsburysdorridge.co.uk or call Richard Harris on Sainsbury’s freephone 0800 975 5299.

Sainsbury’s press release:

Sainsbury’s has now submitted its revised development plans for Forest Court, Dorridge to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

The plans have been submitted following extensive public consultation with the local community, including workshops and questionnaires, public exhibitions, consultation brochures, focus groups and various meetings with a broad range of local stakeholders.

Public consultation over the last 18 months has helped Sainsbury’s significantly revise and improve its plans for the regeneration of Forest Court, which has led to full support from 67% of consultation respondents, with a further 16% supporting some of the proposal.

The revised plans feature:

• A Sainsbury’s foodstore with a 19,500 sq ft (1,812 sq m) ground-floor sales area
• A 175-space car park above the store, accessed from Avenue Road
• Stairs, lifts and travelators providing access between the two levels
• Dedicated disabled and parent & child facilities, including parking near to the store entrance
• The extension and refurbishment of the existing doctors’ surgery
• A dedicated premise in the development for the local pharmacy
• Six additional smaller retail units along Station Road
• Space for an independent restaurant
• A public square with benches, landscaping and pedestrian links to the Arden Buildings
• Traffic calming measures and safe pedestrian links around the development site
• A fully enclosed service yard on Station Road
• An overall design complementing the architecture of the Station Approach buildings and ensuring the development doesn’t dominate the street scene
• New trees and planting

Public consultation has also led to the inclusion of a central reservation along Station Road, maintaining a two-stage right-turn from Poplar Road for safer traffic manoeuvres.

The proposed service vehicle route has also been altered to prevent delivery vehicles using Knowle High Street.

Sainsbury’s previous application was refused by SMBC’s planning committee in March 2010, despite being recommended for approval by the planning officer.

Sainsbury’s decided to proceed by going back out into the community to find out what else local people would want to see if a new proposal was drawn up.

A questionnaire was delivered to local residents in July 2010 to find out about people’s shopping habits and their desires for the regeneration of Forest Court.

Two workshops, attended by a cross-section of the community, were also held to discuss these desires in more detail.

As a result of these consultation techniques, Sainsbury’s has been able to draw up a significantly revised proposal for Forest Court, unveiling new plans at a public exhibition in February 2011.
Renewed public consultation then took place, with residents being given the opportunity to feed back their views on the revised plans.

Since the previous refusal major changes to the scheme have included:

• A 26% reduction to the store sales area
• A new design, with materials that better reflect existing architecture
• Setting back and screening the development to reduce its prominence on the street scene
• Creating a public square outside the lobby entrance and linking with the Arden Buildings
• A ground floor sales area
• Keeping the doctors’ surgery separate from the foodstore by extending and refurbishing the existing facility
• Providing an enclosed service yard, with the entrance moved away from residents on Forest Road
• More landscaping across the entire development site
• The inclusion of a central reservation along Station Road to facilitate safer turning manoeuvres
• More pedestrian crossings around the site
• Improvements to the junctions surrounding the development site

Sainsbury’s is confident that the revised development will regenerate Forest Court and revitalise the centre of Dorridge, creating a vibrant mix of retail, dining and community services in a safe and attractive environment for the benefit of all residents.

An improved local offer will prevent the need for local people to drive out to neighbouring areas to carry out their main food-shopping. This will save fuel costs and travel time, as well as reducing carbon emissions, whilst also benefitting existing traders in Dorridge centre by increasing footfall in the area.

To further promote linked shopping trips, the car park will be free for all users for up to 2 hours, with no requirement to use the Sainsbury’s store.

The car park will be monitored to prevent long-stay parking, abuse of disabled and parent & child spaces, and anti-social behaviour. A barrier is proposed to prevent anti-social behaviour after hours.

The entire development will be built using the most sustainable methods and materials available in line with the design proposals to ensure the carbon footprint of the store is at an absolute minimum as part of Sainsbury’s drive towards sustainability.

The detailed plans are now available to view at the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council offices or online at http://www.solihull.gov.uk/planning/dc/ViewApp.asp

The council will enter into its own period of consultation before the application is determined at a planning committee in the future.

Speaking of the revised plans, Sainsbury’s Regional Development Executive, Michael Adenmosun, comments: “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.

He added: “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.”

For more information, residents can visit the updated website at www.sainsburysdorridge.co.uk or call Richard Harris on Sainsbury’s freephone 0800 975 5299.

4 comments:

  1. A good point, well made Silhilian.

    I do love the repeition (and therefore validation) of the phrase "extensive public consultation".

    Having experienced it first hand, my view is that Sainsbury's idea of consultation is little more than lip service.

    A development this size demands scrutiny from the media - as do our elected decision-makers.

    Whatever happened to good old-fashioned local journalism? Is advertising more important than editorial these days?

    Matthew, DROVS supporter

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh come on, have you never read an article in ANY paper or magazine that simple regurgitates the same thing in them which has obviously been cribbed from a press release?

    "Lazy press copy press release" shocker. Or not, as the case may be.

    Matthew, you make a lot of decent points in other posts however how is it validation if it's repeated three times in documents people will likely only read once? The general public won't read the press release and likely only one paper. They may, or may not, have provided lip service to the consultation and yes, that's an avenue that the papers could look into. I'll bet it's no worse than any other consultation though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The consultation point has been repeated so many times by Sainsbury's, yet they've failed to actually take any notice of THEIR OWN consultation when it comes to the key point: the size of the store.

    Matthew

    ReplyDelete
  4. 19 July 2011 20:16 you're right, it happens all the time, but it doesn't mean everyone is not surprised when they find out how similar news stories are to press releases. A lot of people still trust papers and if a paper says consultation is "extensive" then they will take that as fact. As we've seen, that claims is very much open to debate.

    ReplyDelete