Wednesday, 28 September 2011

DROVS-backed survey shows "virtually no support" for Sainsbury's

JUST a handful of residents surveyed over a Sainsbury’s plan for Dorridge backed a supermarket of the size proposed by the retail giant.

Dorridge_view_1_-_from_car_park_of_Arden_Buildings - Copy

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Of 685 people surveyed some 22 supported a store three times the size of the 557sqm Tesco in Knowle.

A further seven wanted it bigger than this size.

The results were released by the Dorridge Residents Opposed to Village Superstore group, which is fighting the plan.

It said "friends and neighbours" carried out the survey.

Sainsbury’s has put forward a 1,812sqm sales area plan for Forest Court, including six shops and a revamped doctors’ surgery.

While just 87 opposed a store outright for Forest Court, when asked on size some 393 backed a store the same or smaller than Knowle Tesco.

Some 110 wanted it to be 1.5 times the size of Tesco and 153 twice the size.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council members are expected to be asked to make a decision on the plan on October 19.

A DROVS spokesman said: “The results of this survey confirm what we’ve found from talking to friends and neighbours – that there is virtually no support in Dorridge for a store the size Sainsbury’s are proposing.”

In a press release, they said: “This poll dispels Sainsbury’s claims that those opposing their plans are a minority.

“It also sends a clear message to our elected representatives that the people of Dorridge are strongly opposed to this oversized development.”

Nick Cromie, a DROVS supporter who helped organise the survey, said in the statement: “With all the arguments about Sainsbury’s, I felt it was important to ask Dorridge residents what they actually wanted.

“We were careful to make sure that the survey would give a fair and accurate representation of views so we surveyed addresses across the village.

“The full results will be submitted to the council’s planning department.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “The proposed store size has been selected as a result of extensive public consultation, including our own survey of 1,500 households immediately surrounding the application site.”

It said the DROVS survey is “not consistent” with the result of the Sainsbury’s survey which shows 75 per cent shop at stores bigger than the one proposed and 68 per cent wanted to do their main shop in Dorridge.

That survey showed of the 1,180 who responded, 42 per cent backed a store the size of Knowle Tesco.

It found 27 per cent wanted a store the size of the 1,992sqm Sainsbury’s in Poplar Road.

Some 46 per cent backed a store larger than 1,393sqm.

The spokesman said: “The DROVS results are not reflective of the feedback we received at the public exhibition or the support we have received from residents in response to our planning application.”

Note: this article was amended slightly at 9am 29/9 to reflect the first post below.

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  1. A slight clarification...

    Whilst we're delighted with the result, the survey was not conducted directly by DROVS but by a group of supporters who approached us with the idea and have made their findings available to us.

    Those carrying out the survey presented themselves as carrying our a community survey; we did not want the DROVS name or reputation to influence people's responses one way or the other, but to try to get a genuine feeling of what residents think about store size.

    As for Sainsbury's comments about consultation; the Silhillian's report is coorrect that of the c.1200 responses, the most popular option was for a store the size of Tesco Knowle. Sainsbury's did not give the option for "a bit bigger than Tesco Knowle" which was one of the most popular responses on this new residents' survey.

    Arguably, dismissing both sets of survey results does not equate to "extensive public consultation" and suggests that listening to local feedback and getting this store the right size for Dorridge is not Sainsbury's priority.

    We trust that our elected representative and council decision-makers will take more notice of what local people think is appropriate.

    *Supporting a smaller Sainsbury's for Forest Court*

  2. "not consistent" - a diplomatic way of saying "wrong". Does anyone who actually knows people in Dorridge believe this?

    It's very easy to skew the results when amateurs do 'surveys'.

  3. Well I know lots of people in Dorridge and I believe it! It's not far off the other results we've had from the parents at the schools or from Sainsbury's own poll results is it?

    Most polls are pretty unscientific when you analyse them. It's not like Sainsbury's one was perfect as it relied on people being motivated to send back their slip, so you tend to get responses from either end of the spectrum and less "middle ground".

  4. For completeness, this the full response to The Silhillian from DROVS:

    DROVS were approached by a group of friends and neighbours from the Arden Road area who were interested in carrying out a survey as they felt the argument was focused on “Yes or No” and no one was asking “How Big?”. Also they sensed that most people had no idea of the size of the proposal. They carried out the bulk of the survey, along with a few DROVS supporters who’d answered an email asking for volunteers.

    A variety across Dorridge including Knowle Wood Road, Arden Road and Apsley Grove, Kingscote, Poplar Road, Edstone Close, Beaconsfield Close, Manor Road and others.

    Are you in favour of the redevelopment of Forest Court into a Sainsbury’s supermarket?

    No 87
    Yes 538
    Total 685

    What size of supermarket do you feel best suits the needs of Dorridge, using Tesco in Knowle as a benchmark?

    Same as Tesco Knowle or smaller 393
    1½ x Tesco Knowle 110
    2 x Tesco Knowle 153
    3 x Tesco Knowle 22
    More than 3 x Tesco Knowle 7
    Total 685

  5. I carried out a survey of people in Dorridge and found that 83.28% of them supported a Sainsbury's the proposed size. But then, 72.6% of statistics are made up.....

  6. Why haven't the DDRA done what Knowle Society are doing and hold a public meeting to gauge the strength of support and opposition for the scheme before coming out in support of Sainsburys??
    Who gave DDRA the mandate to support the scheme? I'm a paid up member of the DDRA and so is my neighbour neither of us support the scheme but we haven't been asked by DDRA if we do??

  7. If they were on your side you'd be happy enough. the truth is the DDRA through 'Spenny' have tried to explain their position and how they reached it through other strands of the blog on this website. They have weighed up all the factors involved including public opinion as signalled by the DROVS wall, Sainsbury's survey etc. They have not done made the decision to support the scheme on a whim.
    I could understand if the antis were against having Sainsbury's completely - but 2x size of Tesco Knowle = Why ????
    If the proposed store can sit well on the site, accommodate parking and traffic flow is good there is no arguement