Monday, 4 July 2011

Transport changes to Sainsbury's plan

SAINSBURY’S has made changes to proposed road layouts and deliveries for its Dorridge store plan.

The plans were announced as a campaign group published an open letter to the firm’s boss Justin King to scrap the plan for Forest Court.

Dorridge_view_1_-_from_car_park_of_Arden_Buildings - Copy

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Under the changes, trees will be planted on Station Road when a dual carriageway is removed, opposite Poplar Road.

The Poplar Road exit will be changed so two cars can queue to turn left and two cars can queue to turn right.

This followed concerns that cars will not to be able to wait in the middle of Station Road when the dual carriageway is removed.

And a proposed seven large lorry and five small lorry deliveries a day would come via the Warwick Road and not the M42 and Knowle High Street.

This reflects changes to a Waitrose plan for Knowle, which proposed the M42 route before changing to the Warwick Road.

A planning application is expected shortly for Sainsbury’s and is expected to go for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee in September.

It threw out a 2,462sqm sales area plan in March last year. The new scheme is 1,812sqm.

The changes were announced by the Dorridge and District Residents Association following meetings with Sainsbury’s.

It said of the Station Road changes: “The concept of a dual carriageway remains, but the road is re-aligned.

“We see that there are significant benefits in that realignment which should significantly improve the visibility exiting Station Approach.”

It said the realignment of the Poplar Road junction would “significantly improve traffic flow” during school hours.

It said Sainsbury’s will “create a better pedestrian area”, create space for Chiltern Railways to remodel the station with a canopy and improve the safety of the junction with Station Approach and Avenue Road.

The proposed store front will “remove the dominant sky sign” and add a clock, which the DDRA said are “small touches which made a difference”.

It said: “Sainsbury's emphasised that there was no hidden expansion plan and that there was nothing in the architecture to facilitate that.”

"Well received"

Association chairman Ian Spencer said, "The revisions to the scheme were well received by the [DDRA] committee who felt that Sainsbury's had made genuine efforts to overcome valid concerns raised at the public consultation.

“We had made it clear to Sainsbury's that they could not ignore these concerns and they have accepted that and sought to resolve those issues.

“However, the uncertainty as to whether Dorridge can sustain the increase in traffic remains and we have not yet had sight of the traffic case being put forward."

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s has confirmed that an application will be submitted in the not to distant future, final amends are currently being made as a result of the recent meetings that have been held with the local community groups and the council.

“Sainsbury’s will be providing full details to the local community once the application is with the council. Once again Sainsbury’s would like to thank all groups for their time and constructive suggestions with regards to the proposed development.”

Campaign letter

It comes as the Dorridge Residents Opposed to Village Superstore group (DROVS) publish an open letter to Sainsbury’s chief executive.

It said “it's become increasingly clear that Sainsbury's are adamant that they cannot and will not reduce the size of the store to something you'd typically find in a community like Dorridge”.

The letter says Sainsbury’s have said the proposed store is the minimum size needed to accommodate weekly shops.

But DROVS says the firm’s own research shows some residents do their weekly shop at Tesco in Knowle, a third of the size of the proposed Sainsbury’s.

It says: “We believe that if you reduced the store’s size to something nearer other local foodstores it would still be highly profitable.

“This is a prime site, and the store would attract a loyal and enthusiastic customer base, especially if it becomes part of a more agreeable design plan.

“We therefore ask you to reconsider your position.”

It adds: “Strong support has emerged for our view that the proposal is too big and will swamp the village not only in its physical presence but also in its traffic and environmental impact.

“If you signal that you are prepared to consider a smaller scheme, we will work with you to find a prompt solution, using the feedback which has been built up over the last six months. This can then be put to the planning committee.

“Sainsbury’s is a fine company, and we would welcome your presence in Dorridge. You have a good reputation. Please do not spoil it by forcing an overlarge store on the village against the wishes of so many of its residents.”

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  1. Nice letter from DROVS. Wonder what Sainsbury'ss response will be - if they give one!

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all get together and figure our something that works for Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath? One thing's for sure, we don't need a Waitrose (albeit modestly sized) AND an extension to Knowle Tesco AND a king-sized Sainsbury's.


  2. I fear for the viability of Bentley Heath.
    A perfect group of indepentant traders serving the local community AND they have a post office.

    As usual DDRA are telling us how lucky we are that Sainsbury want to build an oversized store in our VILLAGE.

    I welcome the idea of being able to do my shopping locally but in a store of a suitable size for its location.

  3. Can someone show the plans for Tesco? I keep hearing it mentioned and yet have seen nothing about it at all - is it all just hearsay?

  4. I have read the announcement on the DDRA site and feel it is just another example of smoke and mirrors.

    Is the Dual Carriageway to remain ?....NO.
    Two semi-mature trees are to be planted and create the concept of a dual carriageway ...what exactly does that mean?

    We are promised re-alignment and improvement of various junctions and more space for pedestrians at the railway station. Sounds magic but the last time I checked new land could not be made.

    So 2 cars will be able to queue to turn left and 2 to turn right out of Poplar Road. Great , but where will the extra road space come from ?.... a reduction in the pavement at a junction already difficult for school children. Nice the vehicles will be able to form a neat line but how will the flow of traffic me helped?

    A new canopy at the Station will look very pretty but yet again it is a cynical ploy by Sainsbury to buy off opposition to their oversized store with inadequat parking provision.

    Shame on you DDRA you are not helping to achieve a suitable re-development of Forest Court and where are the drawings showing details of these "improvements"?

  5. I'd love to see a Newsnight style interview between Sainsbury's, DROVS and the DDRA. I can just see Jeremey Paxman exposing the dark heart that lies behind Sainsbury's PR puff or embarrassing DDRA down off the fence.

    The above poster is right - why are Sainsbury's
    so keen to donate a canopy and a £1m surgery? Why is it so important for them to oil the wheels of this deal?

    Maybe it's because they know two things: that this store will be a goldmine and that it's also totally oversized for its location.

    Don't sit back and let them get away with it!

  6. Sainsburys are doing all they can to curry favour with the village's businesses/services that they don't already own. It's disgusting. Their aim is to totally take over our village and buy off any opposition. DDRA are pathetic. At last year's planning committee meeting they were tasked with establishing a village plan to protect Dorridge from unsympathetic over development and they have done NOTHING. Shame on you.

  7. To be fair to Sainsburys, they are doing nothing that any other company do when they want to do something - manage stakeholders. In this case, other businesses/services in the local area to help facilitate the development.

    Whether those companies chose to take that support is another matter...

  8. So a grand total of six people seem to have an issue with this, the rest just want them to get on with it....

  9. Gosh and there was me thinking I was the only person against the current proposal.

    Thank you for pointing out the others like me with the sense to realise that Sainsbury don't care a fig about Dorridge and its inhabitants.

    All they want is to do is make lots of money by hoodwinking us into believing their supersized store will improve our VILLAGE.

  10. What rubbish spouts from DDRA.

    Their latest up date talks about the enviroment for the existing trees on the central reservations through Dorridge being poor.

    Yet they are daft enough to think that new semi-mature trees will enjoy this same spot.

    Let's face it at each stage Ian Spencer and his mates have thought whatever plan Sainsbury suggested was great and should be grabbed before they abandone us to our fate.

    Sainsbury are not the only supermarket in the UK.

    If they don't want to develop a store suitable for a village location let them sell it to another company with the vision to come up with a sensible plan.

    Funny how Sainsbury though of re-routing their lorries from M40 through Chadwick End after Waitrose published their plans for deliveries in Knowle.

    Perhaps the fools at Sainsbury should consider buying a map. They will discover all sorts of things about Dorridge and its location.

  11. What pathetic arguments people are making. This site is decrepit. Derelict. Down right ugly and that was BEFORE Sainsbury's bought it.

    It is quite clear that Sainsbury's will go in with a proposal that will not get approval due to the NIMBY's that frequent the local area and try their luck so that compromises are made. The store proposed will not allow for expansion as there will simply be no room, so if a company is going to build a store it may as well invest for the future.

    The facts are that a store like this needs to be bigger than Tesco Knowle which is not fit for purpose. (Don't start with the expansion plans their as no-one has evidence of that!) Waitrose their will add value as will Sainsbury's.

    I sincerely hope that the planners realise what benefits both Sainsburys and Waitrose will bring to the area and for the people. Local businesses have come and failed with the ones left the success stories. Apart from Tesco Express there would be little to actually drive local businesses out.

  12. The above comment sounds like supermarket PR machine,

  13. Not "fit for purpose". By which you mean you can't get a decent Chablis and your favourite brand of toilet paper has run out. Nonsense.

    I remember when shopping was a basic necessity, not an all-consuming hobby. And there are people starving in this world!

    Lest my comments are ambiguous, let me be clear: the Sainsbury's is far too big for that site. They're taking the mickey. They don't give a hoot about Dorridge - they just want to take on Tesco at the bottom of Gate Lane. It's a turf war and we're getting caught in the crossfire.


  14. How right you are .

    Just what are DDRA thinking of.

    Sainsbury and Tesco are in a war and we are going to suffer the consequences.