Monday, 10 October 2011

Card shop to leave "depressing" Forest Court

ANOTHER shop is to leave Forest Court next month – with the owner backing Sainsbury’s
plan to flatten the “depressing” precinct.


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

Jo Jo’s card shop is expected to move into the empty Dorridge Travel Service unit in Station Approach as part of Sainsbury’s move to find new homes for Forest Court businesses.

Only Dyhouse Pharmacy and Da Santino will remain when Jo Jo’s leaves early next month. Sainsbury’s owns the leasehold on its new home.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee is expected to be asked to make a decision on the Sainsbury’s plan next Wednesday (October 19).

Jo Jo’s owner Linda Butler said: “It is definitely a positive, I have no trade in here, no passing trade. At lease you are visible out there. It has been two years of gradually declining.”

A Sainsbury’s plan was thrown out by the council in March last year and the firm this year submitted a plan with a sales about 25 per cent smaller, 1,812sqm.

Mrs Butley said: “It is a big improvement, this is a bad reflection on Dorridge.

“I didn’t have any objections to the size of the first one, I think the design didn’t fit.

“It’s bad being in here because you are not visible and people tend to forget about you.

“But if it carries on it will start to affect the businesses outside. There isn’t a centre to the village, there is no pull. It is a poor relation to Knowle.

“It will bring some life back to the place. It is quite depressing in here, it would be nice to have a bit more life in Dorridge.”


The pharmacy would be relocated in the village if Sainsbury’s gets permission. The firm has said Da Santino can apply to go in a restaurant unit in the new development.

Other businesses to move with the help of Sainsbury’s include Dorridge Music School, to Knowle, and Karma Beauty. Michael Peters carpet shop moved to Bentley Heath.

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  1. No one is doubting that Forest Court needs to go but to replace it with Sainsbury's supermarket will be equally depressing.

  2. Good luck in the new premises. I brought some lovely cards from you last week. Let's hope Sainsburys can get moving quickly and the Luddites can go and shop elsewhere.

  3. Yes, you do have lovely cards and we wish you well in your new shop, however, I am not sure where you live but many who live in the centre of the village do not want their relatively peaceful lives disrupted by the noise, traffic and ugliness of such a large development when a much smaller supermarket would be more than sufficient. Forest Court is a mess but to replace it with a large town sized development in a residential area is selfish and will destroy much of the character that draws people to live in Dorridge. It will be yet another centre dominated by a large supermarket. Does Dorridge really want a major supermarket as its focal point, its reason for being?

  4. Well said 12:43.

    The second comment (09:43) might read....

    "Let's hope Sainsbury's can get moving quickly. I'll probably end up buying my cards there instead. But good luck anyway"

  5. Local businesses are solidly behind the development which rather contradicts the 'will ruin local business' arguement. The pharmacy. butcher, card shop, karma etc.
    Please don't do your usual - 'they must be stupid then' comments.
    reject this and Sainsbury's will appeal and win - another 2 plus years of Foreset court as it is. Then the place really will be dead.

  6. I look forward to a larger store if the parking works. More space and more products for local shoppers. can't see why you'd want something smaller if this fits.

  7. 14:09 the local businesses you mention that are in favour of the development have all received help from Sainsbury's to relocate. Are their views objective? And would they be happy with a smaller store?

    I suggest you also ask the off licence, the chip shop, The Forest and the Italian restaurant what they think.

  8. Well the forest are for it - couldn't speak for the others.
    Don't like DROVS survey - guy on my step not at all neutral - telling me that 'maybe i don't understand the traffic problems and flood-lit parking' Not a survey more an exercise in trying to unduly influence - 28 square miles was mentioned again - you know that old chestnut ie. radius of 3 miles
    So sad if the DROVS win - The Asda in Shirley has gone through after 10years!!! How horrible if that happens here.
    DROVS don't be so selfish - let this go ahead for the sake of the area as a whole - and yes Dorridge. Can't you see where all this is heading?

  9. RE: 22:21.

    That's an interesting point about the DROVS survey. How do others who were asked questions feel the survey was carried out?

  10. I'm sorry, but didn't I read in the Solihull newspapers that this was a DROVS "BACKED" survey but NOT sponsored or carried out by them. I understand it was organised by an individual who is against the proposed large development. I'm not a resident of Dorridge so the outcome doesn't affect me, but PLEASE get your facts correct and don't DROVS bash for the sake of a getting a rise out of people.

  11. My mistake. DROVS put out the press release but didn't carry out the survey, one of their supporters organised it. I think it's fair to say the survey was carried out by people opposed to the plan, the question is whether this influenced how they spoke to people on the doorstep.

  12. 10 Oct 12:43
    "destroy much of the character that draws people to Dorridge"???
    Dorridge has little or no character as a village centre anymore and people will not be drawn to it if Forest Court is not developed. Sainsburys are the key to this and the latest size of store proposed is just fine.
    It's totally unrealisit to expect Sainsburys to put forward a much smaller plan when we have all experienced smaller supermarkets failing in the past years.
    (Will the DROVS be boycotting it if it gets through I wonder? That may save some of the traffic that they are all so worried about!!)
    If only Sainsburys could get a Post Office into their plans.

  13. What would the DROVS do if Sainsbury's came back with a plan 2 and half size of knowle Tesco?
    What is the rational for the size they're suggesting - not based on no of products, or extra space for fresh meat counter - just 'what people think would be good' where's the rationality in that?
    DROVS have taken a stance and now have nowhere to go (compromise not an option0
    Please don't let these people bully the rest of us

  14. Why do people associate shopping with village character? Surely, it is the architecture,trees, landscape and people that give a place its identity.

    People are drawn to Dorridge as a wonderful place to live and bring up a family and for many of us the fact that we don't have a large supermarket as the focal point of the village is a big bonus. Dorridge is our home, our place to chill out with family and friends away from the hustle and bustle of work, shopping, noise and heavy traffic.

    There are so many very large supermarkets within a very close distance it is really not necessary to have a store of this size in Dorridge.

    I am not a member of DROVS and am definitely not being bullied by them, I can think for myself, but I am positively against this proposal from Sainsbury's, it is far too big and shows a distinct lack of consideration for those living in close proximity to the proposed development.

  15. Well said 12.54.

    I agree with you.

  16. It doesn't matter if Sainsbury's helped the businesses relocate - if they think they can be profitable in their new positions with the Sainsbury's next door then this is a valid endorsement.

  17. DROVS supporters ie. people on the DROVS wall carried out survey - its not DROV bashing to say so
    not sure why DROVS are distancing themselves from it
    Forest Court is owned by Sainsbury's and needs redevelpment - so Sainsbury's want to build a supermarket - people who say I wish it was a Waitrose or put housing there are just not getting it. What builder in their right mind would buy that site for 18million.
    Waitrose had first refusal for years but wouldn't pay the 18 million the Muntz's wanted.
    Just because you live in Dorridge doesn't mean you 'own' Forest Court!

  18. Chipping Campden lovely village, bags of character - no supermarket, Barston, lovely village - no supermarket. Why does Dorridge need an oversized supermarket to give it character? I just dont get why some people wanted to live here in the first place. To me it represents a community with great schools, great transport links on the edge of the countryside, but I guess most of the people who support this proposterous monstrosity have never even got out of their cars other than to go shopping!

  19. 17:30 So are you saying if you buy a plot of land you can do what you like with it? Sainsbury's want to build a supermarket, so they shall.

    No, Dorridge residents don't 'own' Forest Court, but equally, it's not our fault that Sainsbury's paid such a high price for the site. Fortunately planning law still gives us some scope to oppose these plans - thank goodness for people like DROVS for having the perseverance and time to help organise a concerted response.

  20. Forest Court has has been a sad place for years - people didn't move here because Dorridge had a nice little village centre, they moved here for the schools and transport links etc In fact I bought here in spite of Forest Court and that was long before Sainsbury's were on the scene
    Neither do people live here because it doesn't have a decent supermarket. Sainsbury's will be such a shot in the arm and as someone said above local business wants it too.
    I support the store and actually do get out of my car to go shopping. I am for reduced car usage - another reason i support a store that will meet the needs of the local area.

  21. Sainsbury's have compromised on
    size - 25% less sales area
    design -
    Less prominent store ( of course now people are complaining that now the store is more hidden they can see the parking)
    Additionally they are improving the surgery, have helped local businesses more to better locations and included 4 new retail units than can actually be seen from the road.
    DROVS have compromised on ......Have DROVS listened to local people for the store? No - not at all
    We're in a recession we're so lucky to have this opportunity

  22. "We're in a recession we're so lucky to have this opportunity"- that sentence really made me laugh!!!

  23. To above - why should that sentence make you laugh??? jobs and improvement to centre when there is so little money around.

  24. 08:43 I think DROVS have actually compromised a lot by doing an alternative plan for a store around 1.5-2 times the size of Tesco Knowle.

    Most local "anti-supermarket" protest groups just say "No to Sainsbury's" (Or Tesco, or whoever.)

    08:35 - "a store that meets the needs of the loca area" - rather than pulling in custom from miles around. That would be, er, around 1.5 to 2 times the size of Tesco Knowle - as evidenced by both Sainsbury's and DROVS polls.

    Remember, this plan is for a store more than 3 times the size of Tesco Knowle. And, whilst Sainsbury's are keen to stress the supermarket is smaller than last time, the floorspace of the development as a whole (excluding the dcotors) has increased from 5396 to 8007 sq metres!


  25. Jenny, Jenny, Jenny!
    Are you really comparing Chipping Camden and Barston with Dorridge??!!!! Why not throw in Hampton in Arden, Lapworth and Rowington whilst you're at it!
    Stow on the Wold, (far more representative) lovely village, bags of character and a Tesco supermarket!!
    Dorridge needs the development of Forest Court to maintain any chance of the village centre being sustained, it's dying before our eyes.
    A small supermarket will just result in people jumping in their cars (again) to drive to bigger supermarkets to do the weekly shop!
    Where will we be without a village's not far away without the developement. Yes, the schools maintain the property prices to an extent as do the comms but a village without a viable village centre ain't much of a village in my opinion.

  26. I went to the chippy last night, the village was buzzing. The hairdressers were open late and busy, the new bar looked busy, the chippy was busy, the massage parlour place was busy, there were lots of people about, the Forest was doing a roaring trade with the beer festival and the station is always busy. I dont understand all that stuff about Dorridge dying on its feet. Forest Court has died partly because the previous owners didn't do anything to maintain it which put people off from using it and kept taking high rents from the shopkeepers, partly because the through traffic never knew what great shops were in there so didn't use them, partly because locals didn't support them enough and partly because Sainsbury's drove what was left out. Basically Dorridge never needed Forest Court and in my albeit humble opinion doesn't need anything more than what we would have without it.
    Perhaps those who think Dorridge is dead should have a wander down of an evening and give the shops, restaurants, bars etc. some of their custom and this would even further push up the great facilities we have already got and what I believe we are totally taking for granted.
    Has anyone thought that if Sainsbury's goes ahead at this size, those shops etc could suffer due to insufficient parking for their customers? The car park proposed isn't big enough for a store of the size proposed and if Sainsbury's decide to stop people using the facilities from using their car park, the whole of Dorridge will be in a mess.
    some may think this is food for thought - others will just say boo sucks!

  27. the Tesco in Stow on the Wold is on the outskirts of the village, accessed from a very busy A road and managed by traffic lights. it isn't right in the middle of what I agree is a very pretty village. sorry dont go along with your analogy!

  28. Well said 17.09. I agree with you.

  29. Dorridge centre is hideous - Comparing it with Chipping Campden is ridiculous.
    Pulling people in from miles around - from a 3 mile radius in fact
    even the DROVS admit this - of course they say 28 square miles
    In case you don't understand
    Draw a circle with a radius of 3 and work out the area pi x radius squared = 28
    The most upsetting thing about all this is that the DROVS and their supporters are so aggressive - people who are for the scheme like me tend to just keep quiet in public as we don't want to get shouted down. Where is the respect for our views?

  30. 9.58
    Have the courage of your convictions and fight for what you believe in.

    Everyone has a right to an opinion and most people will respect it, - just don't expect everyone to agree with it.

  31. 17:09 So Dorridge is buzzing on a Friday night! What about a Wednesday morning or a Tuesday afternoon??? No so meethinks?
    Great to have a village with a couple of drinking establishments, a 'massage parlour' (really???) and a late night barbers but nothing of any use during the day!!
    Think about it!

  32. I am not 17.09 but I have thought about it and I also think Dorridge is fine just as it is and easily caters for everyday needs with the exception of perhaps a post office.

    Doctors surgery, chemist, optician, dentists, dry cleaner, numerous hair dressers, card and gift shop, specialist butcher,restaurants,
    various takeaways and cafe, hotel, pub, off licence, a small Tesco which provides everything needed on a day to basis and various other businesses. Granted the small Tesco might not have a huge range but is it really too difficult to go to the larger stores, they are not very far away. Public transport availability is excellent and cheap for those that want to leave their car at home or don't have one.

    Maybe a village sized supermarket would be appreciated by some but that would possibly mean the demise of one or two of the existing businesses.

    Sainsbury's is not everyone's supermarket of choice and I think many will travel to Knowle if Waitrose goes ahead which depending on the part of the catchment you live in is not very far.

    Add to all this the excellent schools, churches, parks and open spaces, as a village, I feel Dorridge more than caters for its community.

  33. Dorridge centre is hideous because of a supermarket interest from 2004, thats why there has been a gradual decline,wake up or shut up ,when dorridge has a hideous orange brigade its there for keeps, oh and you just might have a number of empty shops once they realise they wont be able to compete

  34. 17th Oct 20.48

    My thoughts exactly

    18th Oct 17.15

    I couldn't agree more

  35. 17:15
    The future's bright, the future's orange!!
    Wake up or shut up, the village centre's dead!

  36. 17:15
    Numberous 'small' supermarkets have tried and failed in Dorridge over the years. Clearly, from an economical point of view a bigger store is the only way forward in order the project to be viable for the investors.
    I worry about the future of our village, and don't want to be reliant on good schools to ensure that our house prices are maintained. Investment in Forest Court is needed and unfortunatley Sainsbury's appear to be the only ones offering any solutions.
    I, for one, understand this and can see that a smaller offering, as suggested by the opponents of this scheme won't work. We don't need another Knowle Tescos.
    PS: What happened in 2004 and how did that affect Forest Court??

  37. I sincerely hope that the DROVS have not won their "fight" against Sainsburys. Another 2-10 years of looking at this "hell hole" of Forest Court will do nothing at all for Dorridge and you never know it could all be just boarded up and left to rot!!!!!! Then what happens to the housing market and "The Prestigious Dorridge" then???? I just hope in my opinion, that the Council make the right decision for Dorridge SAINSBURYS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. The smaller DROVs suggestion doesn't really tick any of the boxes for me
    It won't stop people driving out of the area to shop - this is the source of increased traffic on the road
    It won't lead to the same local improvements - ie surgery, station canopy, Station Approach revamped
    If this is rejected then Sainsbury's will appeal and win costing the council thousands and the site will sit there for as long as that takes to happen
    Or it will be boarded up indefinitely
    The QC opinion - well you should look at each planning application on its merits - not get picky about language. Stange he compared this to what is suggested in Knowle - Look at Knowle pretty, historic, well set out, well supported shopping area. Dorridge central dilapidated brown field site in dire need of work - Really not comparable at all.
    I hope sense prevails and this goes through

  39. The station doesn't need a canopy and the doctors should take care of their own investments.

    Knowle may be all those things but with all due respect to Knowle residents I would not want to live there, it is far too busy for me and very much a town rather than the village that is Dorridge.

    One thing that interests me is that those in favour of the proposal tend to bully people into supporting it with threats of what will happen if it isn't approved, what about giving us genuine, positive arguments why we should have it. I guess it is difficult when there aren't many.

  40. 09.05

    Spot on.

    Would those in favour of the proposed store stop defending the economic interests of Sainsbury ( they paid too much for the site ) and the doctors ( all with incomes in excess of £100K)

  41. 09:05
    One thing that interests me is that those NOT in favour of the proposal tend to bully people into NOT supporting it with threats of what will happen if it IS approved.
    Sound familiar(?) and they're much more belligerent.

  42. .16.10 are you saying that the tesco in dorridge is a failure?

  43. 17:58
    Not a failure, I'm sure it turns a profit for Tescos, but it hardly meets the needs of the community, does it. We still have to travel in order to fulfil the weekly shopping needs. Not
    Great for milk, bread and the papers but little else I'm afraid.

  44. 11.27 Obviously still struggling with good reasons for the development.

  45. When will the people of Dorridge realise that they are living in a "village!". You generally only ever get "convience" type stores in a village, not a whacking great big supermarket. If you want to have "town" stores then live in a town, otherwise PLEASE appreciate the lovely area that you live in and stop whinging about having to drive 10 minutes to do your food shopping.

  46. 10:54
    Living in a village without a village centre or one that's a disgrace.Great!
    This is about much more that food shopping, it's about regeneration and creating a village centre that meets the needs of the expanded conurbation that Dorridge has become.

  47. 12:47 - I totally agree with you on both counts. Well said!!!!!!

  48. If sainsbury succeeds in its planning, it will be the most dominant feature of the village,perhaps Dorridge should be renamed Sainsidge.

  49. I for one am sick and tired of all the arguments and counter arguments. Whatever the decision we shall all have to live with it. Can we then get back to being a community with a more interesting range of conversations than we have had recently. Here's hoping the council reach a decision next month and we can then all move on. Whichever side "wins", please don't gloat, but accept that the decision has been made with the best long term interest of Dorridge in mind. I'm not even going to say on which side of the fence I sit - and I do have an opinion! But I have had enough of the petty squabbling!

  50. arguments and counter arguments is healthy debate , dont knock it.

  51. It's also called "going round in circles and getting nowhere".

  52. Please get your facts correct,Sainsbury's have not bought the land, they have bought the leasehold on the premises. In response to the question as to where I live, I have lived in Dorridge all my life when it was actually a village. Please look into the history of Dorridge it has never been the quaint village that recent residents perceive it to be. The Muntz family established the railway station in Dorridge and as such industry was central to Dorridge. Dorridge had a cattle market, coal yard, brick yard, a lorry park, Archer's garage, gas works and the Austin Car Company used to deliver cars for export to Dorridge.

    The biggest change to Dorridge in recent years is the building of new homes on Four Ashes which has had a significant impact on the infrastructure putting more pressure on schools, doctors and the roads. The increase in traffic due to the school run (yes I know you have to drop children at school due to work pressures)which never happened when I went to the local schools causes significant traffic issues.

    Dorridge had a range of independent shops but people's shopping habits have changed and the Sainsbury's development reflects this. With both parents working and with busy schedules you need the convenience of shopping when it is convenient to yourselves and unfortunately independent shops cannot realistically cater for this. Forest Court had the range of shops but changes in shopping habits have made this obselete, if you dont use them you will lose them and this is a sad reflection on village life.

    If Sainsbury's walk away from this development as they probably will because as stated before they have only bought the leasehold not the land (which still is part of the Muntz estate)we will be left with an eyesore that is a very damming reflection on Dorridge. The centre already attracts anti-social behaviour including the riding of motorbikes down the steps.

    I know Sainsbury's is controversial but the centre needs renovation and there is the danger that this will not happen and that may deter other investors and we will be blighted by the eyesore for many years to come. Waitrose has already walked away from Forest Court lets not lose Sainsburys as well.

    With regard to being in favour of this development due to being relocated with new premises I must state that I am a new business in Dorridge and that when this was first announced the current premises had been refitted and as such I was reluctant to leave. Ideally residents should support the local shops and independent retailers would still be in Dorridge.

  53. Very well put 08:16. I concur.
    The doomsayers should be careful what they wish for! Should Sainsburys walk away who knows who could walk in?
    Poundland anyone?

  54. I'd rather have a small Aldi/Poundland etc, than a HUGE Sainsbury's/Tesco/Asda/Morrisons etc! Aldi may not be British, but at least their fruit & veg are mainly British, unlike the Big 4!

  55. But a SMALL anything ain't going to happen!!!
    It doesn't work as small!

  56. It does work as small unless you pay too much for the site/lease.

    Sainsbury's mistake shouldn't be our cross to bear.

    The real winners are the Muntz Family who managed to entice Sainsbury into paying a high price in the HOPE of getting planning permission.

    Wish we had their advisers helping to put the case against this unsuitable developement.

  57. Well said 11.34 and 12.35

  58. 11.13
    If Sainsbury's walk away it will be because the decision makers have had the courage to decide what is in the best interests of the residents of a village and not the interests of an incoming business. If Sainsbury's won't build an appropriately sized shop then they should cut their losses and leave it to someone who will. I for one have had enough of large companies steam rolling into communities with not a care for the well being of the residents concerned. Enough is enough. Build an appropriately sized business or go away.

  59. I've had enough of people refusing to accept that Dorridge as it is now needs a supermarket the size proposed for all the reasons in the long post by 18.26
    People who are for it are not for Sainsbury's profits obviously but for a development which will improve the centre - so silly to talk about Dorridge being steam rollered by Sainsbury's
    I feel i'm being steam-rollered by the DROVS
    anyone for the scheme is treated as though they lack a brain when in fact the arguements given make a hell of a lot more sense than the 'its too big......' arguemnt

  60. There are rarely any arguments proposed in favour of a store this size. Read back throug these posts and you'll just see a lot of DROVS bashing.

    Megastore-proponents - if it could be shown (and it can!) that Tesco Knowle was a hugely profitable store, would it convince you that a smaller store would work - for Dorridge, not the whole of south Solihull.

    I would be convinced that this size is acceptable by an example of a similar town-centre sized store in a residential location.


  61. If the 'small' model works, why have so many smaller supermarkets all come and gone in Dorridge over so many years?
    Just because there isn't a comparable example to hand does it mean it's wrong?
    Dorridge was a commercial retail centre, let's have a commercial retail centre again.
    I remember when Eveson's and the MAT yard in Poplar Road, were busy with HGV's on a daily basis, we've been flattered by the lack of traffic since they were redeveloped.
    Good luck Sainsburys

  62. Can we leave behind this point about smaller supermakerts having failed.

    Those supermarkets (e.g Spar)were much, much smaller than Tesco Knowle and they were housed in a grotty, poorly designed 1960s precinct - not exactly conducive to convenient shopping.

    Get the design right and there's plenty of scope on the Forest Court for a thriving, easy-to-access store that meets all our shopping needs and allows other independent shops to flourish - here, in Knowle and in Bentley Heath.

    Anyone who desperately needs a bigger store can make the 10-15m drive Tesco Extra or Sainsbury's Shirley - or join the increasing number of us doing internet grocery shopping.


  63. Forest Court was florishing when Bishops/Spar were in operation, they still failed. It wasn't a grotty, poorly designed precinct then.
    Can we leave behind the notion that a smaller supermarket will ever get built, it's just not on the radar. Sure there's scope for an easy access store etc but that's what we had before and it didn't work.

    Can we also leave behind the notion that Dorridge won't cope with any extra traffic?
    As has been said before, it's a commercial centre, designed to have traffic flowing through it as in previous years.
    I don't remember anyone complaining about Evesons and the MAT yard back in the day.

  64. Really the differences in traffic and deliveries generated by the DROVS size store and the proposed store are not that great.
    arguements about traffic flow, removing the pavement on Forest road, air-conditioning noise etc would be the same
    The DROVS have got bogged down in their 2x the size of knowle tesco idea and are now backed into a corner. So when it is shown parking will be ok, traffic flow will be ok, range of products better, fewer people travelling out of area for weekly shop and therefore less traffic on the road they have no response.
    They just keep saying ....but its too big!!!
    obviously if all these criteria are met it isn't too big - it is actually the right size.

  65. Local businesses are for the development - that must tell us something!

  66. There is a problem nationally with small businesses. As people retire no one wants to take on these small shops and they are left vacant. The way we shop has changed. Matthew seems to be just making up his own version of life as he would like it to be.
    This smaller Sainsbury's makes no economic or practical sense. why not have one that acturally meets the needs of the local community. Even Matthew acknowledges that a smaller store will lead to people driving to Sainsbury's Shirley or Monkspath Tesco.
    Fuzzy logic.

  67. Think I can answer DROVS question about increased internal space at the new store. Don't know if DROVS calculations are accurate but I do know thatthe delivery yard and turning circle for lorries is now a covered area as requested by local residents therefore this area will now count as internal.
    A good thing I'd say!

  68. 16.48 That wouldn't have anything to do with increased foot traffic to increase their sales would it? I wonder if they live next door to the proposed development. That's if they actually live in Dorridge.

  69. 16.55 That's exactly right. And part of the reason the small businesses are failing is the dominance of the large supermarkets which are rapidly spreading through towns and villages throughout Britain and changing forever the way we shop and therefore the very fabric of our communities. If anyone thinks the arrival of a large supermarket will create a sense of community, they're dreaming.

    Perhaps when locals are trying to find their usual park to get their hair or nails done or nip into the supermarket to get something they had forgotten and they have to compete with out of town shoppers for the few parks available and stand in a long queue at the checkout they might think differently.

  70. 08.14 I agree with everthing you said.

    However I am more worried about not being able to park when I visit the doctor rather than when I have a hairdo. I can aways change the hairdresser but not the doctor . It is vital to sort out the parking issues.

  71. Look - the no of hairdressers and nail bars has absolutely nothing to do with Sainsbury's. These are the type of businesses that can actually survive in a modern world. A majority of local people do their main shop at a large supermarket - this is a fact. A majority of local people do not have the time, incination or money to be shopping at little artisan stores. The French stick did ok for a while in dorridge and then had to cut to half size and then go altogehter. this was because local people did not use it enough and it was expensive.
    Arrival of a supermarket will lead to local people going into the 'village' and Sainsbury's involvement has already helped businesses like the butchers.
    Even the DROVS understand there is a need for a supermarket - the 'little shops and small business brigade' are living on a different planet

  72. to 7.24
    of course local business want increased footfall. You can't live next to a commercial centre and not expect customers and their cars. As someone earlier said the fact that there is vrtually no traffic now because Forest Court is as it is doesn't mean its reasonable to expect it to stay like that.
    DROVS store will lead to traffic!!! lots of little craft shops would lead to traffic!!! Little craft shops ain't happening.
    The sooner some life is injected into that precint the better.

  73. 9.22 Which is why they are supporting Sainsbury's, I think the butcher ( and any other business competing alongside Sainsbury's)is on shaky ground but I shall keep fingers crossed for him as he is a good man to deal with.

    I find extremely sad an earlier comment from 9.15 that nail bars are the sort of business that can survive in a modern world.(with all due respect to the nail bars who are only doing their job) Is it because that type of business does not have to compete along side the big supermarkets etc.? Or is it because we have all become so obsessed with our appearance that this is how we prioritise our spending.

    A taxi driver having noted the hairdressers, nail bar, tanning shop, takeaways etc., etc., commented to me on " what a shallow place Dorridge appeared to be". Bit sad really because Dorridge was never like that.

    Forest Court and Arden Buildings are both ugly but Forest Court is also very badly designed and also allowed to become dilapidated. None of which are conducive to successful retailing.
    Station approach is lovely and really should be the basis for a new rebuild. By all means have a supermarket, but have one that is village sized, designed for the residents of Dorridge, that way the infrastructure may cope and the people who are unfortunate enough to live close by will be less inconvenienced. Surely showing these people consideration is the first step in proving Dorridge can be a caring community.

  74. The fact that 'Dorridge was never like that' is irrelevant - we're back to harking on about this mythical golden era of the past.
    This debate is about now.
    Not really shallow to want to have your hair done, go to the pub or buy a take-away or to want to shop in a supermarket is it?
    Sort of 'normal' I would have said
    Give me one good example of how forest court and its shops have proved Dorridge to be a caring community?!
    Your arguement seems to be that if you live nearby you want to be less inconvenieced - what's this got to do with what's best for the area?

  75. The nail bars and hairdressers and beauty parlours will suffer from lack of parking, as will the doctors. Today, a rainy Thursday, the Forest court car park was full, Forest Road long stay was full and there were 7 cars parked in the loading bay, which I believe belong to staff from the chemist etc. The warden is constantly on his rounds so other than Forest Road these won't be commuters. If the car park is full now with an almost empty Forest court and empty shops on Station Approach where are all the supermarket shoppers going to park? There will only be another 78 new parking spaces, insufficient for a store of this size I would say.
    Another thing is that if you want to have your highlights done and then do some shopping, you can't use the store's car park because it will be limited to 2 hours. It takes at least that time to have highlights done or similar, so where do you park? Presumably try to find a space behind the garage and pay. People currently come to Dorridge hairdressers partly because parking is free and convenient. If you want to have your nails done and a meet a mate for coffee, you'll have to limit your visit to 2 hours. The warden - or Sainsburys - stand to make a tidy sum from people overstaying their welcome in the car park. Plus, if you have to actually buy something from the store in order to park, this puts more pressure on your time.
    I am absolutely certain that many of the village's independent stores, including the chemist, will lose out once Sainsbuyr's is established. Have a look at the Tescopoly website if you need convincing further.

  76. Hey, don't shoot the messenger, it's a well known joke that Dorridge is a village of hairdressers etc. Everyone laughs about it. Even my family who have lived in Dorridge over 50 years.

    Actually it was not a "mythical" golden era - it really was great. Forest Court has always been an embarrassing eyesore, in my opinion anyway, but we knew every shopkeeper, they in turn knew what we liked, we never, ever shopped anywhere else, we didn't need to. Including the so called weekly shop. We welcome a supermarket but not the size proposed.

    You ask for an example of how the shops proved Dorridge to be caring. Shopkeepers had/made time to talk, it was all part of old fashioned customer service. They all knew who you were and if someone wasn't well they knew that too. They would support local clubs, charities etc with gifts for raffles etc. and as a young teenager I used to love helping out in the garden/pet food shop. It wasn't a paid job and possibly I was more hindrance than help but they were really kind and I had such fun, it was part of nurturing the young members of a community.

    Maybe if you have never experienced that type of shopping or village life you cannot really understand why the rest of us mourn its passing.
    I suppose village shopping was part of our social life in a funny sort of way. Today, shopping in the large supermarkets is by comparison isolating there is very little interaction with anyone and most cases quite impersonal.

    People who live close to Forest Court have always had traffic and customers but why should they now have to put up with a large town sized supermarket pretty much in their face and all its associated issues. Sainsbury's are not planning such a store simply to give more choice they are doing it to encourage a greater number of shoppers.

    The people who live near the centre accept the presence of traffic and customers etc but should they be expected to accept this in town sized proportions. I don't think so and I don't even live in that area. It's called being considerate and I don't think that is a bad thing for any area.

  77. 20.34 You are exactly right.
    I have been to the Tescopoly website and it is well worth visiting and so relevant to this debate. Dorridge does feature on it.

  78. I don't think it really matters whether the Dorridge described above did exist or not. The truth is it doesn't anymore and country wide things have moved on. Some may not like that but it is a fact.
    It is fair to ask if Sainsbury's will lead to a decline in local business - local businesses don't seem to think so - and that includes the pharmacy who are not worried and they know their business better than we do.
    It is also fair to ask if a pretty, community centre is being adversely affected - the opposite is actually true considering the improvements to made to the area generally.
    The town sized arguemnent is odd to me - towns like solihull have several supermarkets - morrisons sainsbury's and the food department of m and s to meet their needs - we're just having 1 to meet ours. That's because this is what the area needs if people are to shop locally.

  79. I think the golden age of Forest Court must be well in the past. I have lived here 20 years and I never experienced it.
    I personally will be delighted when Forest Court is demolished and a decent supermarket put in its place. I accept there will be an increase in traffic past my house - it will be worth it to get rid of that eyesore. I also know I don't 'own' dorridge because I happen to have lived here for so long. We're lucky to have the young local families and the schools so lets make sure their are decent facilities for them.
    I don't need a supermarket this big but a lot of people do - people objecting should stop being so narrow, especially the older ones like me - this is about Dorridge's future not about how it was back in the day.

  80. I don't think Forest Court had a "golden age". It never worked. They put the roof on the in 1980s and that didn't have the desired effect. Particularly now, it looks extremely outdated. Sixties style shopping centres like it are increasingly facing the chop.

  81. I have no issue with people with concerns about the development expressing them but I do think the DROVS have turned off so many people. A spoke to a guy the other day who said its just embarrassing now, they're just saying stupid things'
    This 48% larger whole deveopment is one of those things - why on earth would DROVS try to manipulate the figures like this.
    The sales floor area is significant - to include the size of the independent units etc is so cynical and misleading.
    DROVS shoot themselves in foot! I'm fed up with them now like a lot of people.

  82. Who are the DROVS exactly - not sure who they think they represent. Such a small no. signed up to the wall.

  83. The new scheme will be good for local old people.
    They can walk to shop and have a better doctors.
    My mother will love it and go to the cafe.
    New cafe in bank not good for old people but this will be good for them.

  84. I am not pro the store but I really do think DROVS are now making themselves look a little silly by including the additional retail units (assuming that's what they have done - not sure this is confirmed as fact). I know a lot of the more prominant DROVS members from the 2009 campaign have backed away and there are a group of newer members who have taken the reigns ..... whether this be for the better ... only time will tell!

  85. If you are for Sainsburys coming to Dorridge, then let your voice be heard by advising the Planning Commite of your wishes. I believe there is still time before the 9th November. You cannot make the presumption that because it is what you would like for Dorridge that it will automatically go through. To help ensuring that it WILL happen your comments can help.

  86. The 48% increase in overall development was calculated by comparing figures from 2009 and 2011 from Sainsbury's official application forms as submitted to the planners.

    It may very well be a mistake on their part, but nevertheless, we think it demands clarification before any decision on the development is taken.

    We think that the overall size of the development *is* a relevant topic to highlight as it has an impact on traffic flow and whether or not the parking provision is adequate.

    In fact, this is just one of several issues we've been advised to raise with Sainsbury's following a recent meeting with our councillors and MPs. You can see the full list of questions to Sainsbury's at

    Rather than responding to us, it's a pity that Sainsbury's have chosen to rubbish our claims in the printed press this week. We've openly invited them - on the advice of our councillors and MP - to engage in a constructive dialogue with us and we remain positive about finding a way forward with them.

    Briefly addressing some of the other points in the comments:-

    Opposing a development of this magnitude is demanding so naturally, since 2009, one or two of our committee members have moved aside but they remain committed and active DROVS supporters.

    We're delighted with the c.1100 figure on our Wall of Support. Combined with the recent residents' poll, Sainsbury's own store size survey and the school governors' poll, it paints a picture of a community in favour of development but largely opposed to *this* development: a store more than 3 times the size of Tesco Knowle.

    If you'd like to correspond with us or clarify anything at all, we're always open to email via