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.

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

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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  1. I think that some of the people that are against the new supermarket are sending in multiple comments to make it seem that there are more people against the proposed supermarket than there are for it, a bit unfair really!

  2. Words fail me! :-)
    I presume this is a wind up - at least I hope so!

  3. To be honest 83% sounds a lot 175 doesn't.To be fair I would have thought respondents would have to leave a name and an address.
    These will be individuals already on the DROVS wall. In fact - not quite sure why there are so few who have actually written!?
    I am for the scheme but didn't write - my mistake - those against things are always more vocal.
    175 against - not really relevant. Sainsbury's are thrashing our problems and councillors and DDRA have acknowledged that they have been very open to discussion. Look forward to it going ahead.

  4. "To be fair" there will be people who don't want their names published online and will have taken an alternative courses of action, which would be to be write in the old fashioned way, or email. I seem to remember that online responses are required to give their names and addresses, though the address is not shown to the public. Being on the DROVS wall of support is simply an indication of public support for DROVS, it is not a replacement for a letter of objection, so unclear of your point there. Sainsbury's are not thrashing out problems with the councillors! What gives you that idea? From what I can gather the DDRA are looking at parking, but they seem to think that too few parking is a good thing. They are keen to use this opportunity to address the problem of commuter train parking. As if that's more important than having another ugly box dumped in Dorridge operating 7 days a week. The DDRA have also admitted that Sainsbury's are intransigent on the main issue, and that is on SIZE. A reduction of 14.7% in size is not enough. Even Ian Spencer has said that a reduction in size is the only way to reduce the traffic and parking issues.

  5. To be fair 12:46, DDRA are going to wait until the plans are approved then dazzle us all with their ability to negotiate down the traffic normally associated with a 7-day-a-week town-centre sized supermarket.

  6. If the DROVS wall of support is only an "indication of support" then the Dr's surgery petition should be taken in the same way ie only informally supporting the project and an extension to the surgery?

  7. Given the amount of propaganda dumped through my letterbox from the DROVS I'm surprised to see only 175 entries. Perhaps an indication that a large proportion of the 700 or so entries on the wall are either from people out of the area, multiple entries from the same household or fictitious.

    There hasn't been a campaign to get people for the development to write in so on that basis I think the campaign against looks to be quite weak.

  8. Whatever the outcome of the planning decision, surely we should now be focussing, more constructively, how to reduce the impacts from this or from any other development proposal. I for one do not share the view that we should harken back to some golden age when Dorridge was 'vibrant' with heavy traffic passing through. I do not hear anyone suggesting it would be a would be a great idea to re-introduce traffic to Solihull town centre. Neither do I agree that, to allow faster cars and to avoid congestion, we should make our children and other pedestrians take 'safe' walking routes from school to home. I do think our roads and pavements should be for many uses - yes, even allowing people to drop people off outside their homes, collecting their children from school and popping into the shops - and if, for half an hours or so, when children are walking home from school, or someone needs to cross the road, the 'traffic' is slowed down and drivers must take more care, so be it.

    The major impact from this development is the traffic. Our community is divided on the largely environmental costs (to be borne by some) and the benefits (marginally more convenient shopping) And it is precisely the traffic impacts that, so far, Sainsburys has evaded taking any responsibility for. Whatever we hope from the planning process, it will be too late to negotiate after the decision. If there were no increase in traffic, most residents’ objections would evaporate. Why not now focus on what can be done: i) to obtain a commitment from Sainsburys take practical steps to reduce customer traffic volumes, year on year; ii) to establish what contingencies or, even at this stage, what design freedoms and contingencies there are to ensure traffic in Dorridge is managed effectively.

    Sainsburys, at present have made absolutely no commitment to encouraging and enabling shopping by foot, bicycle or bus. this shop is designed for people to use their cars - the same operational model as a 1950's store. Surely we should now be expecting our large retailers to commit to such things as running shuttle buses, to helping the elderly, disabled to get to the shops and back safely; to offer home delivery services (yes, just like the old fashioned grocers used to do!) which make it possible and convenient for people to shop by foot or by bicycle, and not to have to carry the bulk of their shopping home in bags; to offer wheelies to their customers, instead of shopping trolleys for the car park. Make over their car-park, increasingly to electric cars and bicycles (yes these really to work now).

    In other words, should we not ask and expect Sainsburys to take an ongoing, social responsibility for minimising the impacts of its development proposals? At least we should try to establish the basis for a dialogue with them, post-planning.

  9. In the doctors waiting room there were a pile of leaflets on the counter asking " do you wish to support Dorridge surgery?". Some sad person had scribbled on the top one "say no to sainsburys bribe". Pathetic!

  10. Pathetic maybe, but don't you think the Drs have a responsibility to let patients know that if they support their campaign, they are supporting Sainsbury's too!! Somewhat lacking in information ... maybe said scibbler wished to enlighten the next customer :-)

  11. The doctors acted in an underhand way to serve their own interests with this petition.

    No right minded patient was going to refuse to support to an improved surgery. What they weren't told was that signing the petition was going to be counted as support for the whole development.

    I know what you are thinking ....they should have read the small print....a mistake many of them rue.

  12. The whole point of our Wall of Support is to demonstrate public and visible support for a smaller supermarket in Dorridge.

    We can confirm that as of this time last week, there are 960 names on the Wall of Support. (We're yet to update the website to reflect this.)

    All names have an accompanying email address, phone number or addresses. From what we can glean from telephone codes and addresses, the vast majority (90% is a conservative estimate) are from Dorridge.

    Of the others, around 25-30 are from a signature sheet in Thresher Bentley Heath. There are a similar number from Knowle - e.g. Grove Road, Purnells Way. To say that we have lots of names from "out of the area" is completely off the mark. (I can find just two names on the Wall from outside Dorridge both from people who've told us they use the shops here but live in Tanworth-in-Arden and Matlock respectively!)

    DROVS strategy has always been to gauge the level of support for a smaller store here in Dorridge. This is where we've delivered the vast majority of our leaflets.

    The integrity of the Wall of Support is vital to our campaign. We have permission to present the details of signatories to the planning committee to show the level of opposition to a store of the size intended. Clearly, it would do our case no favours whatsoever if we'd sought out support from outside Dorridge - and that is why we haven't.

  13. @DROVS - your supporters on this site have admitted ringing far and wide to ask friends to register on your 'wall'. Ask Matthew for one...

  14. To many are "fiddling while Rome burns".
    The village is/has fallen apart in front of our eyes.
    Embrace the change, move forward to a new and revitalised Dorridge centre. Let's get a village back, we don't have one currently!

  15. Too right 15:19. Couldn't agree more.

  16. As the Dr's have openly accepted monies from Sainsbury's to back their plan in return for a larger surgery .... how about Sainsbury's putting their hands in their pockets to shell out triple glazing for all those houses that are going to be affected by traffic/car park/plant & machinery noise ......(as detailed in their noise assessment document submitted as part of the larger plan).

    And NO, I don't live in Forest/Dorridge/Avenue or Station Road :-)

  17. Sainsbury have got what they want.

    Villager against villager.

    I have heard nobody suggest we preserve Forest Court so all the post complaining about the the current state of the site are interesting but irrelevant. We all want re-development.

    We should all unite to protect our friends and neighbours from the worst excess of this planning proposal.

    Fight to ensure a store with:

    enough parking
    reasonable operating hours
    attractive design
    good screening for the floodlighting
    retention of existing trees
    good additional landscaping
    proper sound controls.

    All of this on Sainsbury's own land NOT land owned by the SMBC . It is theft to use the footpath along Forest Road and the "dual carriageway" on Station Road to facilitate a private development.

    Imagine how you would feel if decided I needed your front garden to park my caravan ...not happy I am sure.

  18. @15:40

    And if you don't live on those areas, why are you so concerned? Another bored busybody interfering with things that don't affect you?


    Well I've found at least 3 names that aren't from within the area at a glance. Shall I take a closer look and then start naming and shaming?


    Well said that man! I can't believe that we may end up waiting for years to get some agreement on the way forward. The DROVS are campaigning for something that's simply not viable. The smaller store simply won't make financial sense to Sainsbury's. This is a simple concept, what part is so difficult to understand and if Sainsbury's can't justify financially, how will anybody else? I think that left to the DROVS, we'll be stuck with the prison block for many years to come...

  19. Look - if the DROVS size store went ahead there would still be extra traffic/car park/plant and machinery noise - It is wrong to try and compare the Sainsbury's development to no development.
    9 lorries a day become 6.
    The extra traffic would still have to flow and therefore initiatives such as removing path on Forest Road would still be a good idea.
    Why is a store 2x the size of Knowle Tesco some sort of 'ideal' for Dorridge? Who at the DROVS decided on 'exactly' this size?
    The integrity of the wall of support is in doubt when up to 5 members of the same household are on there - some being school children.
    Triple glazing? The ideas get wilder all the time! It has been explained that Sainsbury's are to meet certain targets on noise production as concerns were raised at the planning stage.

  20. A smaller store is viable if Sainsbury accept that 18 million was TOO much to pay for a site without planning permission.

    Now they want to build a store that is TOO large for the site and location to cover their costs.

    Not our problem.

    They should face the consequences of their decision and not foist the problem onto our community.

  21. Shall we check where all the doctors and their patients live too?

  22. You must be living in another century if you believe that a husband and wife are not entitled to counts as two people and both express their views.

  23. Can I point out that the doctors have not 'accepted monies' from Sainsbury's. If the development goes ahead the surgery building will be improved and the improvements paid for by Sainsbury's. To imply they have accepted 'a bung' is ridiculous.
    The patients obviously visit Dorridge for the surgery and will be from the local area. They can kill 2 birds with one stone and shop when they visit the surgery saving on extra trips.
    I don't know exactly where the patients are from but obviously they are very local or reasonably local. I am sure none of them come from Matlock
    the DROVS plan will lead to traffic increase/plant noise etc. apparently they would not be prepared to allow the road layouts to be changed to make their development work well -What a strange approach

  24. @16:33

    And school children who may or may not have put their own names on there? Come to think of it, some of the spouses may not have put their own names on their....

  25. What about a husband and wife and 13 year old daughter and 15 year old son counting as 4 people.

  26. Just how is it a good idea to remove a footpath.

    If because of the new store we need a wider carriageway to allow passing vehicles, then Sainsbusy should give up a strip of their plot and not use public land.

    This would help the residents of Forest Road by setting the development further away from their homes.

    As someone has already pointed out you wouldn't be happy if I wanted to use your lawn to accessmy garage.

    Sainsbury should confine their development to their own property.

  27. @16:29

    Too much? Too large? Not your problem? Lot's of statements but nothing to justify them or back them up!

    Calm down dear, it's only a shop....

  28. @15:40 good idea.

    @16:07 Isn't that what the DDRA should be doing? As they are not, isn't this what DROVS are trying to do? I hope so. But they can't perform miracles can they?

    As for comments from 16:19 ... well, fortunately words fail me :-)

  29. The only people 'foisting their opinions onto the local community are the DROVS. I am really disappointed that they continue to spread half-truths and rumour instead of actively engaging in the process of making the brilliant scheme work.

  30. Whatever way you look at it the Doctors stand to gain financially by the expansion of the surgery. Unless that is they would like to place that part of the premises into a charitable trust from which they would receive no cash adjustment upon retirement.

    I don't think they will.......

  31. @16.39

    What calculation would you supply to confirm that an smaller store is not an economic proposition?

  32. @16.39

    I wonder who is your role model:

    Michael Winner
    David Cameron.

    Either way you lack good manners.

  33. Can I just ask, if the the Sainsbury's plan is rejected and Sainsbury's cannot justify a smaller plan. What do the DROVS suggest would be a suitable alternative?

    I think we all agree that Forest Court needs to go, but other options do they think are viable?
    (and please no more idiots shouting 'They paid to much, tough luck!' etc)

  34. It is not idiotic to think that 18 million pounds was too high a price. Many small developers go broke because of a poor deal.

    Sainsbury are big enough to take the hit and sell on to another party.

    Then we would not have to listen to the bleating that anything smaller/ better/different is just not viable.

    They must think the residents of Dorridge were born yesterday.

  35. @16:49

    Neither, I'm just frustrated at the idiotic, shouty commentators who tell us how the store is too large, the noise is too noisy, the shop is too Sainsburysish, that Dorridge is a local village that wants a local shop for local people and so on without any facts, figures or justification.
    Furthermore, when hard facts are presented to them, they still say it's too big, too.....(you get the idea)

  36. @16:55

    And you really think that another company will go for a smaller development? Wake up!

  37. Forest Road residents - the footpath opposite is not yours. Nothing like having a caravan parked in your garden- obviously!
    Of course there is a conspiracy - the doctors taking bungs the DDRA shady characters out for personal gain and SMBC corrupt.
    Who was the second man on the grassy knoll?
    Or perhaps many local people and community representatives are trying to get a scheme together that will benefit everyone - I didn't say 'perfect' for everyone because of course that would be impossible but one that is a 'good fit'

  38. DDRA say the noise, parking and traffic are a problem.

    It seems nobody is loooking to thrash out a solution with Sainsbury.

  39. @16:55

    I think they're more likely to just sit on it for years to come just like Asda have with the Haslucks Green development....

    Get used to Forest Court, it's going to be there for a long time yet!

  40. Does anyway know what Tract Perkins of The Forest thinks about the application.

  41. Sainsbury's will not sell on to someone else- why should they. This plan should go through and if it doesn't they will appeal and rightly so. If they can get the parking right and traffic flow is not an issue then there's nothing to discuss
    The size of the retail space will only be 10% more than available in Forest Court at present so they're hardly trying to fit a quart into a pint pot. 4 or 6 independent units provided not really much of difference is it.

  42. If Sainsbury do sit on the site I think the council should hit them with an enforcement order to repair the shops in the conservation area.

  43. @17.05

    Only 10% bigger you are even more of a fool than I took you for.

  44. 17.01
    The SMBC and DDRA are both looking at traffic/parking issues and as alread stated on another thread Sainsbury's have been open to discussion and are even working around Tesco Express who have no restrictions on deliveries and often block the road off with cones.
    Sainsbury's are not 'a big bad wolf' who wants to wreck Dorridge . The DROVS need to get some proportion.

  45. 10% bigger is a fact!

  46. 15.10

    I haven't seen any DROVS supporters posting suggesting that they have been "ringing far and wide to ask friends to register" on the wall. Could you find those posts please?

    I resent your implication that I have done this; I most certainly haven't. I haven't even mentioned the issue to my neighbours or the parents I see on the school run every day - anyone who knows me can vouch for that.


  47. Haven't seen Tracey Perkins, her husband and children's names on the DROVS wall!!

  48. Checked DROVS wall
    You don't have a space for addresses/phone nos
    You just have to put your name and an email address which gives no indication of where you live. Not sure this will really stand up too well.

  49. @16:19 .. I don't know who you are but come across as a very nasty, vindictive individual.

    Do me a favour, if Sainsbury's do open, PLEASE don't apply for a job, because I for one wouldn't want an individual such as you with absolutely no manners serving me in any way, shape or form.

    Let's hope if you have kids, they take after their grandparents!

    To RP - Why a crazy idea - I DID used to live next door to a supermarket, and they DID offer triple glazing!!!

  50. I, my wife, 6 children and dog have signed up to the DROVS wall because we don't want any caravans parked in our garden

  51. To those 'Anonymous' contributors who are just using this site to shout at each other - please, as a courtesy to other readers, restrain yourselves, and an act of good faith, identify yourself? It's easy - select Name/URL and enter your name.

  52. To clear up a few things.

    1. We have one name on our Wall from Matlock - this is from someone who said she visits relatives here and uses the village shops. We posted this to show how few non locals are on there. Not to attract criticism!

    2. DROVS supports improvements to the surgery and remains neutral on the doctor's petition. We understand that as a business they will fight for their commercial interests. Our supporters tell us they have observed names from Packwood, Lowsonford etc as well as several 744 and 711 telephone numbers on the surgery petition; this is unsurprising as the doctors' business serves a wider area and their petition is worded to focus on supporting improvements to the surgery rather than the size of the superstore.

    3. To 16:42 - DROVS is keen to deal in facts, not rumours and has actively engaged in making a development work (as you put it) by corresponding and meeting with Sainsbury's to voice our supporters' concerns. The retention of the dual carriageway aside, Sainsbury's have rejected our requests to scale down the store.

    4. To 16:19 who says "I've found at least 3 names that aren't from within the area at a glance. Shall I take a closer look and then start naming and shaming?". Please email us the names concerned ( and we will be happy to verify whether or not the individuals you have concerns about are from the local area.

    The integrity of our Wall of Support is paramount - we even emailed one man who shared his name with a 1970s rock star to check he was not a prankster.


  53. If we could try to stick to facts
    I believe the 10% increase in total retail space is correct -
    It isn't that surprising if you know the layout in Forest Court.
    Don't feel calling someone a fool is actually reasonable - especially when they are right! I'll even stand up for Matthew on this one - you can't accuse people of doing stuff if you can't substantiate it.
    DROVS wall - not keen on it because of the name and email issue and the whole family thing - but it is what it is. Doctors petition - well people sign and put an address and they are obviously people who visit dorridge to visit the doctors so their view is relevant.
    Triple glazing - I was just trying to make the point that putting in such measures would be over-kill if the noise targets are actually met by the development.

  54. sorry - above is by RP

  55. Are the DROVS suggesting that people from packwood and lowsonford should not use the store when they come to dorridge anyway. At least we know the individuals who signed had to set foot in the surgery to do so rather than sit at a computer anywhere with internet.
    Dual purpose visits should be encouraged.
    Can't be that many from Lowsonford or Packwood can there (you didn't mention nos) as not many houses there and many people go to the lapworth surgery.

  56. If the integrity of the wall is paramount why are children's names on there? Not sure many under 16s do the weekly family shop.

  57. DROVS,
    Point 3 above? Facts and rumours?
    I believe your last literature states that house prices will fall if Sainsburys get their way?
    How is this substantiated? or is this just a rumour?
    I think my house will actually increase in value if Sainsburys go ahead and potentially fall if Forest Court remains and Dorridge village centre deteriorates at the current rate??

  58. Have to agree with the above - this integrated development could be the making of Dorridge!

  59. Would like to point out that refusing to move on size of development the DROVS are not negotiating.
    What if the store was 2 and 1/2 size of Tesco Knowle - still not good enough? What about 2 and 1/3? - so retention of dual carriageway, reduction in size of original proposal , covered delivery yard , changes to frontage so Sainsbury's less obvious from road...etc etc these are concessions FROM Sainsbury's - Where are the concessions from the DROVS?

  60. Agreed 'S'.

    It could make it into the new Shirley.



  61. To above agreed was agreeing that house prices would not drop - to say that they will is another un-substantiated statement. Smart comments like yours really raise the level of debate.

  62. Matthew appears to have appointed himself the Grand High Wizard of DROV-ovia.
    Not really interested in his 'opinions' and I have seen so many as I scrolled through so will not be visisting site again.

  63. 18:05

    We're opposing the store on the grounds that the size will attract too much traffic, pollution etc. We're hardly likely to make concessions on size!

    (As an aside, most anti-supermarket groups are just that: anti. In putting forward our alternative plan, we've shown ourselves to be moderate, consultative and more than open to negotiation. Someone has to negotiate on behalf of residents who want a smaller store. We exist to fill that void.

    As for the issue of children's names on our Wall. Yes there are a very small number. We set no age limit nor did we encourage this. We have requested that signatories should be old enough to shop in the village.

    We have comments from children too - some of who are concerned about safety walking to school. Surely their voices count too?

  64. Dorridge with a Sainsbury's is so far from being Shirley its laughable.
    I too have had 'enough' of Matthew, I'm afraid - one nonsense statement too far I've said my piece and will not bee returning again as I think it only encourages him. Look forward to the scheme going ahead

  65. DROVS - Your store will attract traffic and pollution - how do you justify your store? Some facts and figures would be nice - ie how much less traffic, pollution etc.

  66. I don't think you should have encouraged children to sign up to your wall when you know they are not independent but directed towards it by their parents. there aren't any children as far as I can see(which is somewhat difficult because of the way you have decided to display the names) who do not have at least one parent on there.
    Hardly independent thinking going on!

  67. I'm appalled - comments from children who are concerned about safety walking to school. Not content with scare-mongering among adults you'r actually now targeting children. What 'facts' did you present to them to make them so concerned. Really not on.

  68. Come on ... get serious ... do you really think DROVS have "targetted" children .. it's not like they have run presentations on the evil that is Sainsbury's.

    I can only imagine that their "responsible" parents have signed them up and as stated there are few.

    Please don't blow things out of proportion here!

  69. So now you want to be reasonable - all of a sudden. I'm sorry but signing children up is just plain cynical and designed to bump the figures up considerably - and I would not call them responsible parents but actually the opposite.

  70. Isn't the age of criminal responsibility 10 in this country ie knowing right from wrong.

    I don't see therefore why a tiny minority of those names on the Wall of Support shouldn't be around that age too!

    Show me a 10+ year old who doesn't know their own mind !!!

  71. You do have presentations on the evil of sainsbury's you tell people they are out to 'destroy the village' that is exactly what you say

  72. 10 year olds - even I didn't think you had sunk that low!

  73. Who said they WERE 10. I'm not a member of DROVS and I don't know who has signed the wall of support. Don't twist my words. I was suggesting that according to UK law, 10 year olds and above are considered responsible.

  74. @18:47

    I think the legal age for voting is probably a better minimum otherwise we risk the parents just using their names without their consent.

  75. @19.49

    The legal age for voting is too young. A fifteen year old might be working on the till, so they definitely have a say.

    Do you think it's wrong for children to be christened - or in my case forced to support Birmingham City? Parents decide things on their children's behalf all the time!

    Despite my polar views on this matter, my daughter's name will not be added to the DROVS Wall.

    Matthew - a name, not a number.

  76. ^ I

    I meant "too old", not "too young".. the rest I stand by.


  77. @Matthew

    My point is that parents will put the names of their children down to bolster numbers making the figures higher than they actually are.

  78. I don't think this is an important debate. Planning is not a vote, it is (hopefully) a dispassionate evaluation of the costs and benefits of a development. We have never been under any illusions about the strength of feeling against the development and we are also aware that there are those that are strongly in favour. Winning the votes do not change the facts of the development, and it is those that bind the officers in their development. The committee can allow themselves to be influenced, but their position must be underwritten by planning guidance.

    DDRA don't disagree with DROVS that the development would be more appropriate if it was smaller. What we do disagree on is tactics. DROVS believe that the only way to deal with the application is unwavering opposition - not an unreasonable approach given the situation - we think that there is the core of a suitable scheme presented and simply don't believe that the aim of a significantly smaller store is an achievable goal.

    That being said, I have a view that the scheme does not work properly as presented, and would need to be altered to make it work. The car parking is presented as running at practical capacity, and there are implications of this for access to the rest of Dorridge and the surgery which have not been properly considered. I think that can be fixed but would want it demonstrated that it was feasible before the scheme got approval. We are working on this at the moment, with the support of professional advice.

  79. I must be dim Ian.

    I don't understand how you and the DDRA can give your backing to a scheme you believe is unworkable?

    Please enlighten me.

    The only thing I can think you are work towards and softening us up for is a multistorey car park behind the petrol station.

    I seems to me that there can be no other solution if you build a twon centre store in a hemed in village centre.

    A heavy price to pay in my view.

    But of course you don't live in the flats at the bottom of Manor Road so this would not be inb your back yard.

  80. I have an idea and it is not tongue in cheek.

    How about Sainsbury locating to the site of the village hall where they could build an out of town store. Or better still the site of the old Woolman's glass houses where the existing trees would provide a screen.

    The Village Hall could then be re-located to the centre of the village along side the Doctors' surgery.

    Suely it is just as important that the Hall should have easy access. Youngesters would be able to attend activities etcand shoppers could park at the new store. Talk of folk walking home with several bags of shopping is very unlikely....the vast majority will use their cars.

  81. "I have an idea and it is not tongue in cheek"

  82. 11.54 - I like your thinking. That is a genuinely good idea.

    How about this one?...

    Get Sainsbury's to set up on/near Blythe Valley Park. They could run shuttle buses and contribute to the widening of Gate Lane.

    That way Sainsbury's get a store to rival the giant Tesco (which is their main aim) that we could all drive to in 10 minutes - or use for home deliveries. Plus everyone gets improved access to the motorway.


  83. Sainsburys went into Dorridge Juniors before the first application and took questions from the schoolchildren. In response to a question how will a store affect traffic, Sainsbury's told children that there would be no increase in traffic.
    This is obviously ridiculous and a lie. Children have already been brought into this sorry discussion and not by DROVS.

  84. @11:49. There isn't anything contradictory in what we said in our letter, which was that in principle we thought that the scheme can be made to work, but we have reservations.

    Sainsbury's submitted a case that claimed that the scheme worked with a professional statement to support it. If we simply say "It is obvious it will not work" then SMBC have nothing to work with. If we say "It will not work" with evidence then there is something to work with. However, we then believe that we should see if there is something to be done to fix the problems.

    If there is nothing that can be done, and the solutions are up to the applicant to provide, then the scheme should be rejected, but it is rejected on sound evidence and then it should stick at appeal. It is also a decision that residents in support of the scheme would perhaps accept, whereas if it gets thrown out on the basis of lobbying, there would remain a doubt that we had rejected a scheme that once implemented could work.

  85. This is the first I have heard about the school visit ....very interesting.

  86. Matthew has got a good point.
    Blythe Valley is the perfect spot for another out of town superstore not a tight village centre site.

  87. Ian your latest posting sounds so reasonable that you can almost be forgiven for sitting on the fence over the last few years.

    The contradiction remains I fear.

    DDRA have suppoted a scheme that you say is unworkable in it's present form.

    Surely you should be opposing the application until Sainsbury return to the table with a working proposition.

  88. If a smaller store will not result in less traffic and associated issues , it must mean that the same number of customers can be expected. In that case Sainsbury should have no problem drawing up plans for a much smaller store that does not dominate the site.

  89. @Matthew

    The whole point of having a Sainsbury's in Dorridge in the proposed location is that it is convenient for people getting off the train, people passing through and local to the area it serves.

    Having to jump onto a shuttle bus and go to one that is out of the area completely defeats the point.

  90. If it were for local people it would be a "local" size....not similar to Morrisons in Soilhull town centre.

  91. @15:07

    If it were any smaller, local people would ignore it and continue to use shops like Morrison's and what a waste of time that would be.

  92. @15.27

    "If it were any smaller, local people would ignore it"

    Er, why is Tesco Knowle so full then?


  93. Ian - you're banging your head against a brick wall with the DROVS -
    hop on a shuttle bus - I admire your patience in trying to explain and re-explain the situation.

  94. @15.03

    I do agree that it's a great spot for a "jump off the train" store. I used to commute to Snow Hill and would use the Sommerfield or M&S Food opposite there to grab a few 'evening essentials' - pint of milk, bottle of wine, something for dinner.

    After getting their shopping, commuters will either walk home or go back to the station car park and drive. They're not going to be able to carry more than a bag or two of shopping, so....

    ....they don't need a store quite so huge!


  95. @ 15:51

    "Ian - you're banging your head against a brick wall with the DROVS -"

    The DROVS haven't posted on here today!

    "I admire your patience in trying to explain and re-explain the situation."

    Ian hasn't actually explained how he's going to simultaneously oppose and support the store.

    Apart from that, your point is lucid as ever.

  96. Matthew you are my hero

  97. @Matthew

    Yes, Tesco in Knowle is busy, too busy. It's totally useless for anything more than the essentials hence the thousands of people who visit the other stores in the area meaning unnecessary journeys.

    Also Matthew, I don't know how much you eat, but I could easily fit any evening dinner in a carrier bag on the way home from the station. What I wouldn't want to do is fill it with ready meals if the store is the same as the one in Knowle which never has anything left by 6:00.

    We've been through this time and time but whilst Sainsbury's were willing to compromise and reduced the size of the proposed store, the DROVS refuse to whether or not their objections are addressed.

  98. @Matthew

    re: 16:06

    Is your mom a resident ^ or is she just showing support for her little soldier ;o)

  99. @16.10

    I put up the post at 16.06 and have never had the the chance to meet Matthew.

    You make yourself appear foolish when you bring the debate down to the level of personal attack.

    So unnecessary.

  100. @ 16:20

    And your comment was conducive to sensible debate? Get a sense of humour!

  101. @16.09

    You may wish that Forest Court was a suitable site for the type of large supermarket that Sainsbury want to build but it just isn't .

    The road network is only single lane and it is not possible to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.

    All this talk about needing a store large enough for a mythical family of four to do a weekly shop is wishfull thinking when you look at the site and the surroundings.

    Perhaps my family are deprived but I have no problem keeping them feed without ruining the quality of life of my fellow residents.

    This me me me culture has to end and we need to consider the environment of our neighbours.

  102. @16:29

    You're right, this me, me, me culture must end. All of these DROVS concerned about their house prices when it was they that chose to buy a house surrounding a retail complex. Depriving the rest of the area is just selfish, I'm glad you raised the point!

  103. @16:29
    I couldn't agree with you more. This me, me, me culture cuts both ways and the DROVS and their supporters do appear to be railroading their opinions through. Fair play to them for wanting to be heard, but I do find it rather self centred.
    If the proposals do get through I do hope they all stick to their moral high ground and don't fraternise Sainsburys. Happy Shopping!!

  104. The thing is
    Sainsbury's own the site
    they are suggesting a store which can be accommodated if the parking and traffic flow are worked on
    Most people support the scheme even if it isn't 'ideal' its pretty good and will bring added benefits to the area
    The case for the DROVS store has not been made - bear in mind that 1/3 bigger does not mean 1/3 more customers. With a wider range of products those visiting are likely to spend more on average and spend longer per trip.
    DROVS have not explained how they are going to keep traffic flowing or come up with any hard statistics that the planners could look at so they are whistling in the wind in that respect.
    The retail space proposed IS only 10% bigger than what is already there.
    Banging on about single lanes and shuttle buses or building up by the village hall is just crazy talk - Sainsbury's own this site they are going to develop this site and most people can see the positives.
    The DROVS campaign is futile because there is just so much rhetoric - why should their store be exactly the right size for the plot and the needs of local residents - no reason to believe this is the case, no reaso to believe 'visions of doom'

  105. The house price thing - where's the evidence that prices will fall.

  106. Surely they'd go up??? and possibly drop with no village centre to speak of?

  107. I think this is just panic. Anything decent on the site will lead to increased traffic - main thing is to make sure its managed. Don't see why house prices should fall may actually increase -

  108. House price stuff is just another example of a non arguement that the planner will have exactly zero interest in.

  109. If you believe that DROVS main driving force is because they don't want to see the price of their houses supposedly fall ... you are very much mistaken ..... there are many, many DROVS members that live no-where near Forest Court .... what's their reason for objecting?

    As for me, me, me ... there is plenty of that from the pro group. I suggested yesterday that triple glazing should be negoiated for those living in Avenue/Dorridge/Forest road etc and I was told by pro group member "if you don't live on those areas, why are you so concerned? Another bored busybody interfering with things that don't affect you?"

    What is so wrong with residents from the wider areas of Dorridge being concerned for neighbours quality of lives who will be affected.

    It's just such a sorry state, I can't put it into words.

  110. @16:44

    Well said. Good points well made.

  111. 16:54 Fortunately, there are many of us who are completely "with you" on this. Lost for words too. The reply to your post yesterday was incredibly rude.

  112. Sainsbury may own the site but they do not own the footpath on Forest Road nor the roadway and central reservation in the centre of Dorridge .......seems they can redesign them for their benefit.

  113. When did a supermarket become a desirable attractive focus for the centre of a village.

    The Village Hall idea was rather good.

  114. A shopping centre is exactly what keeps a 'village' alive.

  115. Why does 17.02 have issues with redesigning the road lay out if it makes the scheme work well. The road past Forest Court and under the railway bridge is a mess and could do with some work on it. You seem to be saying that any suggestions sainsbury's make should be rejected because they come from Sainsbury's. Entrenched!

  116. RE triple glazing - I agree that it should be considered if helpful and appropriate. not reasonable to assume there will be all this increase in noise - especially as the SMBC is already aware but think it can be managed.

  117. how do you suggest managing the traffic, will you be giving families a time slot to use the car park?

  118. Barston is a lovely village, but has no shop, the same can be said of many villages. Trouble is that shopping, particularly in supermarkets has become a hobby, which has also led to too many people becoming obese. Perhaps people woudl be better off spending their time going cycling or gardening than spending endless hours debating which brand of shampoo or baked beans to buy!!

  119. intgerested reader18 August 2011 at 20:05

    hi Silhillian, just read a few really interesting posts under your section dated 6 August about DDRA cautious etc. Can you arrange for them to be moved under a more recent heading so that more people can see them. They're about the plant location, noise etc. and comments made by Chris Baker. A few people have posted that these are interesting and not wellknown issues that more people should be aware of.
    Even those very loudly in favour of the plans may well be unaware of the blight on other areas of the village such as the Forest, new bar, restaurant etc.
    many thanks

  120. I agree with post above, there's more to a village than a shopping centre/supermarket. Surely a community is what makes a village.

  121. @20:05

    But back in the real world, Dorridge is a busy commuter village whereas Barston is a rural sparsely populated location. The two don't compare. People expect to have a level of services locally and it's not like the centre can be made any worse at the moment!

  122. To 18/8 20.05
    I agree they are all very interesting posts and well worth reading. I think you will find that
    Chris's post has already been moved on to this
    blog @17 Aug 13.52

  123. Busy commuter village? True.

    Like Olton. Or Marston Green or Coleshill - none of which have town-centre sized supermarkets as their main (and almost exlcusive) source of shopping located on a single-carriageway near 3 schools.

    Don't be a fool 21:07. This store is designed to take away business from the Tesco in Shirley not to serve the people of Dorridge.

    When people ask on what basis the DROVS propose a smaller store, I expect a) overwhelming common sense b) a strong sense of community c) the fact that that was the most popular option when Sainsbury's polled the area!

    Fact: there is no precedent of a store this big, this dominant in a community of our size.


  124. I haven't moved any posts, it's technically not possible. People can post on as many articles as they like. I'd encourage people to view the 'Most recent comments' section on the front page of the site.

  125. @ Matthew

    It's only meant to take away business from Tesco in Shirley for people who live in B93. Are you seriously suggesting people will drive past Tesco, down gate lane, through to Dorridge to get to a Sainsbury's that is smaller? Don't be a fool....

  126. @Matthew
    "Fact: there is no precedent of a store this big, this dominant in a community of our size"

    I think it has been mentioned before, and possibley conveniently forgotten(?)...Stow on the Wold?

  127. To JP ... granted the Tesco's in Stow is a BIG store ... but it has over 200 car parking spaces (on the ground) and does not have residential roads on three of its sides (it's separated from houses by the A429) .... it's north of the centre of Stow and is more or less "in a field" on it's own with it's own road system and roundabouts.

  128. @10:42

    you're not going to find another Dorridge but what you will find are lots of other small communities that have similar or larger stores. Ludlow, Stow on the Wold etc are all in similar situations and yes they may have a different road structure but I bet they don't have the high volume of traffic.

    Essentially, this has been done before and if you take time to read up on each of these stores you'll find that initial misgivings were exactly that and they've really turned around areas that were in the Doldrums (as Dorridge centre is now)

  129. 10:49 I think you are proving the point that there is not another example of a store this size in a residential area. We would probably be able to find plenty of store on the edges of developments, but this is not the point we are trying to make.

    What are you saying about the traffic in Ludlow an stow compared to Dorridge. I'm unclear.

    I can understand that the schemes you mention were ok once implemented in other areas, but they don't have the parking issues, or residential impacts.. It doesn't take a genius to work out that there is inadequate parking. The argument that this could be a good thing is quite strange. Tell that to somebody who has a doctors appointment, and especially in December when supermarkets are full for the most part of the day.

  130. The planners will look to see if this store can work on this site. Other locations may act as examples of stores working but the bottom line is can this store work here. The answer is most probably yes. When the last application was rejected Sainsbury's were told to liaise with the local community.
    They have done and come up with concessions
    I won't list them all again.
    With regard to parking in Dorridge - one of the main concerns is commuter parking. Now that Solihull station is planning to charge commuters to park there - then there is a good chance that some of these commuters will choose to come and park for free in dorridge and catch the train from here. Generally it is expected that more commuters will be using the trains from dorridge station anyway.
    Putting an extra story on the total garage car-park and putting parking restrictions on local roads will be in response to this problem. Nothing to do with sainsbury's customers who obviously don't park all day.
    More people using the train is to be encouraged -however, if we use some of the logic from above posts - then we shouldn't try to make this situation work by looking at parking options - I am referring to the 'if it doesn't fit exactly without changing anything then it shouldn't be allowed' brigade.
    Sainsbury's will rejuvenate Dorridge centre - the size is ok - lets all just make it work as well as it can.

  131. Agree with above - the village is facing new challenges and instead of adapting and growing it has stagnated and whithered over time.
    Most other places with such a hideous centre would be embracing this regeneration that isn't just a locally needed supermarket but and upgrade of the whole sorry area.
    I think its fear of change - when its there you won't believe you were ever against it.

  132. RE parking - you've got to make an effort to read up on the parking if you want to understand it - providing excess parking can be detrimental as Spenny tried to explain on another thread. It may be counter-intuitive but it is well researched and proven. Gut instincts are not very valuable in this sort of debate.

  133. 11;26 "stagnated" "withered" "hideous" "fear of change". And I thought it was the opponents of the plans that used the over-dramatic langauge?

    In fact, what I - and many others opposed - are quite reasonbly saying is "yes to development, but not at this town-centre size".

    Unfortunately, we have to object as that's the only way to get Sainsbury's to rethink their plans.

    If by liaising with the local community 11;22 means ignoring the most popular size option and pressing on regardless, then yes they have done! Can you cite some examples of how Sainsbury's have listened? Please!

    By all means argue your case, but don't try to make out that the opposing voices are stuck in the past or ill-informed


  134. Oh while I'm on.. here's what Wikipedia has to say about "market town" of Ludlow:

    With a population of around 10,000, Ludlow is the largest town in South Shropshire and home to the southern area committee of Shropshire Council.

    Ludlow has nearly 500 listed buildings.They include some fine examples of medieval and Tudor-style half-timbered buildings including the Feathers Hotel. The parish church, St Laurence Church, is the largest in the county

    On February 4, 1980, the £4.7m single carriage way bypass road was opened. The new Ludlow Eco-Park situated on the outskirts of the town, along the A49, includes a new Park & Ride facility, with a frequent bus service to and from the town centre.

    Ludlow still holds two Michelin starred establishments, and eight AA Rosette starred restaurants."

    Just like Dorridge, eh?!


  135. Here's a report on a supermarket in a place a bit like Dorridge: Hale Barns, nr Manchester...

  136. What a fantastic story! Maybe we should have a fundraiser for DROVS?

  137. @12:28

    A Waitrose of over 3000 sq ft, 14 additional shops, a block of 51 apartments and a car park.....that's hardly the same. 51 apartment blocks haha.....did you not read the article?


    Yes, Ludlow is lovely, it's what a lot of the commentators think Dorridge is but sadly isn't and no, the supermarket appears not to have harmed it at all.

  138. @M
    "Just like Dorridge, eh?!"
    Will Dorridge ever have a chance of getting back on it's feet and standing a cat in hells chance of being "comparible" with Ludlow???
    Not if DROVS have their way!
    It's coming M, better brace yourself?
    Where will you be doing your shopping I wonder?

  139. i can think of a place that's really not like dorridge at all but the people there said NO! to a supermarket and so I'm going to use that as an example because these FOOLS who are for the store keep going on about FACTS and FIGURES and STATS and i've never let such things get in the way of my views which come from my brain and out my mouth without any DOCTORING i represent myself and anyone else who is not a FOOOOOLLLLL even though most people don't tell me what they think and cross the road when they see me coming i know that means they are AGGAAIINST THE STORE!!!!!!!

  140. @16:57 ... what exactly are you trying to say .... because you've lost me !!!

  141. @16.57 Me also - definately lost in what you are trying to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  142. I think he's saying it's time for his lie down.

  143. So those opposing have suggested triple glazing, comparable suburban villages, a new site for the village hall, the Sainbury's residents' poll and whether or not it should be taken account of, whilst the proponents of a store think, like 15:19, that Dorridge is comparable to Ludlow, that the DROVS main point concerns house prices or start using rather too many capital letters.

    I know which side I'd rather be on!


    PS Isn't the point of a message board that anyone can come and put their views without claiming to represent anyone? Welcome to the internet @16:57 - you should see the stuff that passes for opinion on the Daily Mail messageboards :)

  144. interesting piece in today's Times about a sussex town in decline. It mentions a big sainsburys store in its midst which was hoped would revitalise the town, but has had absolutely the opposite effect with independent shopkeepers saying people just do their whole shop in the supermarket and pass us by. you have to admire Tony in the butchers for his defiance, but if this goes ahead sadly I give the butchers and off-licence 6 months before they close up and the chemist will also lose out on non-prescription sales. for the record, this piece was not written by DROVS nor did they have any imput!!

  145. I urge everyone to have a look at the following site. A very easy one to get around.

    Check out the section on campaigns, similar to that in Dorridge, that are are currently being waged around Britain, especially the West Midlands, yes, Dorridge is included.

    Also check out the Success Stories.

    This post has not been prompted by DROVS either.

  146. If you are referring to the Hammonds Ridge Tesco development in Sussex then the problem has been that the site of the store has diverted shoppers AWAY from the town centre. Not comparable with a store being built IN Dorridge village centre.
    Anyway, this store in Dorridge is what we are debating.
    Can I just point out a Councillor explained to me that the reason the over-all store is only 15% smaller is because the delivery yard area and turning circle are to covered and counts as part of the building to reduce disturbance to local residents.
    He also explained that problems with parking on Station road are not new and have worsened over recent time and irrespective of whether Sainsbury's proceeds the council is planning to introduce parking restrictions and traffic calming measures to tackle this issue.

  147. @15:49

    The butchers is for the development and the off licence deserves to shut, it's absolutely useless! The staff know nothing about any of the wine and it's overpriced. I won't miss it at all....

  148. @19:33

    It's not just me then? Last time I went there, the scruffy looking woman and the asian woman (who I assume to be the owner) ignored me and carried on with their conversation. When I did get their attention they could offer absolutely no information whatsoever on any of the wines. If that's what we get with the independent retailers then good riddance and welcome Sainsbury's.

  149. To 19.58

    If you don't like it, don't go!

    "Some" personal thoughts should be kept just that, personal.

  150. If Sainsbury's do build a smaller store, surely they'll want to put something else on the site to recoup the costs? Does this mean we could end up with a smaller Sainsbury's with a McDonalds or similar?

  151. Regarding the off licence staff not knowing anything about wine...I'm not sure if this is true, but at least you can have a chat with them. I expect Sainsbury's will be employing qualified somelliers on the tills for £5.70 an hour.

    Re: the possibility of a McDonalds on the site. Who's snobbish and scaremongering now! :)

    Re: the butcher being in favour of Sainsbury's - perhaps he wants to retire, like the Doctors. I'll give him six months


    PS Ian Spencer - we;re still waiting for a reply on the village plan etc...

  152. Have a chat? So your reason for wanting to oppose the plan is so you can have a chat with the ladies in the off licence? I've heard it all now....

    McDonalds....and if it's a drive through, and the litter? Didn't think about that did you?

    The point made was that there are 3 independent shops that would suffer. The butcher and chemist both support the scheme and the off licence won't be missed by people who aren't lonely.

  153. 11.09

    Why do you feel the need to be so rude?

    Please try to discuss things in a raional way.

  154. 11:09 - Could I suggest you come up with a sign-off name for your posts? (How about "IveHeardItAllNow" " or "Wine_expert")

    I'm guessing you put lot of posts on here and we can't see which ones are from you - although it isn't hard to guess!

    So, when are they building this drive through McDonalds then? Or have you been at the Château d'Yquem already?

    Matthew, tongue in cheek, as always.

  155. What a load of dross the recent posts have been - absolute nonsense
    I'm for the store but whoever it is insulting the off-licence you're not helping the argument
    Rather on a par with Matthew tongue in cheek
    are you interested in presenting any facts or is this just some silly exchange the 2 of you enjoy.
    Pathetic really!