Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Knowle Waitrose planning application submitted

A PLANNING application has been submitted for a Waitrose plan for Knowle, including new traffic features.

Artists impression (new)

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The plan would build a store on the site of a former bowling green by The Red Lion car park off St John’s Close.

This would demolish five bungalows fronting St John’s Close and re-provide them nearby.

Developers last year submitted a planning application to put the store on the site of the village hall, which would have been provided on the bowling green.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council will make a final decision on the scheme.

The new plan would create a 19,900sqft store compared to 26,250sqft before, a reduction of 24 per cent.

The sales area would be reduced from 15,000sqft to 12,500sqft, a reduction of ten per cent.

There would be 257 car parking spaces compared to 180 proposed before.

The five neighbouring bungalows, closest to Station Road, would be kept instead of being re-located as originally proposed.

The firm originally proposed two daily deliveries via the M42 and High Street and right into St John’s Close by Loch Fyne.

The new plan proposes two articulated lorries a day via junction 15 of the M40 via the Warwick Road and Station Road.

The lorries would enter via the service entrance to the left of Wine Rack on Station Road.

In a press release, Waitrose said would provide extra parking but did not give a number.

It also pledged two pedestrian crossings on St John’s Close and Station Road and would make further changes to the village hall, but again did not give details.

There would be an extra entrance to the car park and porches for the new bungalows, it said.

Full documents will be placed online here. Put 2011 and 1557 in the two boxes.

Waitrose said responses at a June exhibition showed 62 per cent of residents supported “the principle of the plans for Knowle village centre”.

Philip Pearce, a director of Kimberley Developments, which is proposing the scheme, said in the press release: “The comments from the community have again been invaluable and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed towards helping define our proposal.

“We are confident we are submitting an application that is a significant improvement on the original proposal and can deliver long-term benefits for the village.”

Nigel Keen, Waitrose director of development, said: “We have wanted to come to Knowle for a long time and believe the application can ensure we cannot only deliver a store that will improve the choice of supermarket available locally, but can make a valuable, long-term contribution to the village.”

Kimberley said it expected the planning application to put to councillors for decision early next year and , if successful, hoped to open the store in 2013.

A Sainsbury’s plan for Forest Court is expected to be heard by councillors on October 19.

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