Tuesday, 26 February 2013

MP Spelman requests Sainsbury's meeting

“FED up” Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has requested a meeting with Sainsbury’s over its stalled plan for a new superstore in Dorridge.

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

The Conservative MP also said the firm also has a “moral obligation” to begin work to extend The Dorridge Practice promised as part of the Forest Court scheme.

Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King last week said the plan – which got planning permission in November 2011 – will not start “in the year ahead” because of poor economic conditions.

In a statement, Mrs Spelman said: “I am just as fed up as other Dorridge residents that Sainsbury’s regeneration of Forest Court is languishing in this way, leaving an eyesore for the village and a target for vandalism.

“I have written to the supermarket chain urging it to get on with the job they promised to do and seeking an urgent meeting with the chief executive.

“Dorridge residents reasonably expect Sainsbury’s to honour a moral obligation to provide the Dorridge Practice that formed part of their successful planning application.”


  1. I'm not a Tory but well done caroline.

  2. Please also leave your comments on the Facebook page Http://ow.ly/1SdVKn

  3. Thanks and the best of luck to Caroline. For most of us, our experience has been of talking to a corporate computer that has no programming for moral values and employs a professional call centre of avatars to 'handle' customer enquiries. If Justin King wants Sainsburys to have a good relationship with the community and to be seen as a socially responsible company it will need to do some urgent corporate re-programming or soon we will be asking the Government to do the job for them.

  4. Good to see some action being taken.

  5. Why the Council ever allowed Sainsbury's to buy the site or approve planning permission without a deadline for the completeion of the new store I don't know. Surely implementing penalties for the delayed start would encourage Sainsbury's to get on with the build. But Solihull Council Planning Officers are a bunch of idiots in my experience!

  6. New Community facebook site - please visit. Set up by Dorridge shop/bar owners with Lynda Hatcher (who's actions we never expected to take off in the way they did!) Register your support for action if you have FB



  7. Well done Lynda and local business owners.

  8. Headlines.... Local Business Owners Back Dorridge Superstore - and, this just in, Turkeys Vote For Christmas

  9. Nice one Matthew! Is this is it or do you have anything positive to contribute? I for one want the Sainsbury's development to go ahead. I'm not optimnistic and I long ago stopped trusting anything they say but on balance still believe its the best thing for Dorridge. So, I don't intend to while away my hours thinking up witty one liners but do intend to see what I can do to get behind those trying to make a difference including, but not exclusively, our MP, councillors, DDRA and Ms Hatcher. What do you intend to do?

  10. Hi Michael. I've contributed positively - as I see it - by helping to oppose this development. That was arguably the time for action - when there was still a choice over what happened to the site. Now Sainsbury's hold all the cards.

    Forgive me if I'm a bit dismissive, but when it comes to trying to make Sainsbury's see sense I have definitely been there, done that and got the "Gok For Tu" T-shirt.


    PS I much preferred you when you were doing Bowling for Columbine and Stupid White Men.

  11. Stupid White Men - was that a documentary about Dorridge?

  12. Thank you Caroline. Hope you Get somewhere.

  13. "Thank you Caroline"!!!!!!

    I've seen it all now.

  14. Since the decision to grant Sainsbury’s permission to redevelop Forest Court a change in retailing behaviour is reducing the need for superstores such as we have seen over the past few decades.

    Retail Week (9/01/2013) reports that, post Christmas, “The City praised its own label growth but questioned the retailer’s return on investment” .

    The Daily Telegraph (10/03/2013) reported that sales growth at Sainsbury’s “slipped to its slowest pace for eight years in competition with Tesco’s”, whilst “the convenience and online sectors grew by 17pc and 15pc respectively”.

    MoneyWeek (9/5/2012), advised investors to “Take Sainsbury’s off your shopping list” due to their questionable investment program, noting significantly, “On the upside... a lot of Sainsbury’s stores... have yet to achieve a mature level of sales. Add in the fact that it is scaling back its expansion plans a bit and these two things could be helpful”.

    MoneyWeek (11/01/2012) also reported, “Unlike other UK retailers, Sainsbury's general merchandise and clothing sales continued to grow faster than food. Further, turnover at the company's 'convenience' shops grew by almost 25%, driven by new space and strong like-for-like sales growth... while online deliveries increased by nearly 20%”.

    Tesco’s is focussing upon a new online - offline shopping concept, the HomePlus Grocery Store and with sales of online groceries forecast to rise to 11-12% of the entire market by 2020, the decision to delay the building on a site as ill-suited as Dorridge is to be expected.

    The notion of competing successfully against a previously established store is proving false. Consider Sainsbury’s experience in Helston, where despite 91% approving the development the store remains more than half empty, the population preferring the original Tesco’s. The idea that proximity is the only criteria for choosing a regular supermarket is long dead.

    Although opposed to the Sainsbury’s development in Dorridge, my family has continued to spend over £200 per month with them online without ever visiting a store. This represents a growing trend in shopping behaviour, so why the need for new capital investment in floorspace?

    Upon further analysis, the Dorridge development with it’s high building cost and limited customer potential from the requirement of a roof car park, looks very marginal. Significant falls in turnover are as likely from existing Sainsbury’s outlets as from any competitors. The promise of a new surgery only further compromises the economics. As a dubious retail space it may anticipate a life expectance of 10 years, given the current trends.

    Forest Court stands as a testimony to the ill-considered retail ambitions of developers and planners in the 1960’s, Sainsbury’s now don’t seem to be making the same mistake. The fact is market conditions change, people are entitled to change their minds. The truth is supermarkets as we have known them are just SO 20th. Century. Logic suggests that Sainsbury’s may put in a convenience store and petrol station on the Grange Road site given the trends and their market performance.

    The great problem with urbanization is that once undertaken it cannot be reversed. Whereas it might have been better for Dorridge to have retained it’s bowling green, providing the village with a sort of whimsical English eccentricity that benefits house prices, the current owners of Forest Court will need some kind of return on their investment. Houses it is then, in keeping with the reality of Dorridge as a residential backwater, or has anybody any other ideas?

  15. totally agree with everything you say - would you like to run for councillor?!

  16. Want to go to Sainsburys AGM on Wednesday 10 July 2013?

    If so you need a share or two.
    Can't recommend where to purchase but here is one site.
    Please take your own advice but make sure any purchase brings with it voting rights and is not held in a nominee account.


  17. E petition Supermarkets or superpowers??

    link above or


    Sign and pass it on

  18. So, Caroline, how's that meeting request coming along 5 weeks after you requested it?