Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sainsbury's won't start in "year ahead" says CEO

WORK will not start on a Sainsbury’s store in Dorridge “for the year ahead” CEO Justin King has said.

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

In a letter to residents, Mr King said the Forest Court scheme has been delayed because of economic conditions.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council gave permission forthe scheme in November 2011 but work has yet to start.

And it will re-open the closed former Total petrol station in the summer instead of the spring because of the condition of the building, he said.

Mr King said “operating conditions” and the store’s failure to win permission for a larger store “impact the economic viability of the scheme”.

The “usual” final details of the scheme took “several months” and “during this extended process the economy worsened”.

Mr King - who grew up in Dorridge - said: “The continuing uncertainty means that I’m sorry to have to tell you that our store in Dorridge has not been included in our development plans for the year ahead.

 “I can assure you that we keep the situation under regular review and will ensure that regular updates are available to the local community as the situation develops.

“Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I am sorry that this is not the answer that you might have been hoping for.”

The firm has to start work by November next year or will require fresh planning permission.


Mr King said: “However, we have since discovered that the existing canopy is in a bad state of repair so an additional application has now been submitted for a replacement canopy.

“Once we have a decision on this application we will start works and we plan to be open by the summer of this year.”

The news comes after a resident posted a picture of boardedup Forest Court on the firm’s Facebook site demanding action.

Its spokesman said they had received no update to report.

The full letter:

Thank you for your email dated the 13th of February regarding Dorridge.

I am pleased to tell you that planning permission was granted to undertake works to the petrol station in January this year. However, we have since discovered that the existing canopy is in a bad state of repair so an additional application has now been submitted for a replacement canopy. Once we have a decision on this application we will start works and we plan to be open by the summer of this year. If you have any questions on the timings of the petrol station works please contact Ben Littman, our Development Surveyor, on 0207 695 4517 or email ben.littman@sainsburys.co.uk.

 We were delighted to gain planning permission for a new store in Dorridge. As you may recall, the planning process took some time and consent was granted in August 2012 for a smaller store than the one we had originally envisaged, it is also subject to operating conditions. Both of these impact the economic viability of the scheme. There was then the usual post planning process, to confirm all details, which took several months. Meanwhile during this extended process the economy worsened. I’m sure that you will understand that we plan our building works some way in advance. The continuing uncertainty means that I’m sorry to have to tell you that our store in Dorridge has not been included in our development plans for the year ahead.

I can assure you that we keep the situation under regular review and will ensure that regular updates are available to the local community as the situation develops.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I am sorry that this is not the answer that you might have been hoping for.

Yours sincerely

Justin King
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