Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Online responses oppose Sainsbury's

MORE than 80 per cent of comments given online to council planners oppose a Sainsbury’s plan for Dorridge.

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Some 175 comments oppose the scheme for Forest Court, 83 per cent, while 37, 17 per cent, support it.

This is despite a Sainsbury’s survey showing 67 per cent of those who responded backed the plan.

Some supporters of the scheme have expressed concerns that backers will not be as vocal as opponents in responding to the official consultation.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s deadline for online comments expired on Friday.

It said views will still be considered until its planning committee meets to make a decision on the scheme, expected by October.

Details of other views given will be available when a report to the committee is published ahead of the meeting.

The council rejected a larger scheme in March last year. The new plan will provide six other retail units, a restaurant and 179 spaces on the roof.

One comment, from Matthew Walker, says: “A store this size will be very detrimental to life in Dorridge.

“The traffic generated will endanger young and old alike. The car park is not big enough for shoppers, staff and surgery patients, adding to the congestion and danger.”

Mrs K Meikle says: “The proposed smaller unit, on the site, I think it will be much more appealing proposal. From a personal point of view.

“Living just of Poplar Road and a non driver, it make will my life a lot easier.

“The retirement complex which I live on is a sort walk away from the proposed site and I think a lot of my neighbours will find it very convenient to shop locally with a larger selection of products.

“It will in deed brighten up what is currently a derelict appearance, to the shopping facilities at present.”

Anne Dyas says: “This development is still far too big for what was once a quiet suburban area. Dorridge is NOT a town.

“It lacks the road infrastructure commensurate with an urban development.”

And Cheryl Ellison says: “Dorridge is already well served by local supermarkets. The size of the store in latest proposal from is still far too large.”

Andy Cowan says: “This proposal has been sensitively reviewed following the earlier rejection and will be a fantastic new centre for the village - something Dorridge has long lacked, and been in real need of.”

John and Trish Taverner say “Dorridge is not a village, but a small commuter town”.

The council’s official ward profiles refer to Dorridge as a village.

They say: “A smaller store would mean that many residents would not be able to do a decent shop and would continue to use large local superstores.

“I wish to do my shopping in a store that provides a broad range of goods. Too small and it would be neither fish nor fowl.”

Averil Smith, who owns Panache clothes shop, said: “It will bring more much needed business into the immediate location and improve the site at present occupied by the derelict-looking shopping centre which is now almost vacated.

“It will create jobs and more passing trade.”

But Judith & Paul Smith say: “We would support a proposal for a smaller store. The current store plan is still too large for local needs.

“The infrastructure is insufficient for all the additional vehicular traffic.

“The car park spaces are woefully inadequate. We already have cars parked in residential roads from rail commuters.”

Read all the comments here.

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