Saturday, 13 June 2015

Knowle Waitrose "on hold"

A WAITROSE plan for Knowle is “on hold” because of concerns about its viability, the firm has said.

Artists impression (new)

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The firm said it still intended to go ahead with the development, for a former bowling green by the Red Lion car park in St John’s Close.

In a statement, the firm said: “The well documented changes in trading patterns across the supermarket sector have impacted the viability of the planned Waitrose in Knowle and sadly it has been necessary to put our plans on hold for now whilst we continue to monitor market conditions.

“Our aspiration to deliver a quality food store which will help the village continue to thrive remains the same, however we do not feel it would be fair to residents to start work without absolute confidence of when it will open.

“We recognise the delay will cause some disappointment and frustration, which we share.  This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are grateful to local people for their understanding. 

“The intention of Waitrose and the developer, Kimberley, is still to make a major investment and make a positive contribution to Knowle in the future.”

The company won Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council permission for the St John’s Close store in November 2012.

But a final decision notice was only issued on August 1 last year which lasts for three years as final details such as building materials had to be agreed with the council.

Five bungalows nearest the store will be relocated to create a car park that will remain the council’s control.




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34 comments:

  1. What a surprise!! The development was always a no goer, a difficult build etc. Now with Sainsburys so popular in Dorridge with its ease of parking.

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  2. What ever happened to the plan for Waitrose in Homer Road?

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  3. I have heard that the plan now is for a lidl store.

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  4. The site has been offered to both Lidl and Aldi who are both considering the site.

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  5. Although I live in Knowle and have done so for about 40 years, I'm just wondering what the snobbery brigade will make of these discount stores coming to Knowle... I'm chuckling to myself. I personally like these stores and already shop at Aldi.

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  6. It was obvious from day one that a Waitrose was not needed in Knowle and now we see Sainsburys in Dorridge doing quite well, not really as bad as forecast regards traffic etc.Waitrose just bought the land in Knowle as a forward investment, they need to pull out now. I too would not mind an Aldi or Lidl who have a more realisitic view of pricing and stock levels.

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  7. Oh my God! You are so right- The snobbery Brigade will be panicking!

    Get ready for the big protests and complaints from all the Knowle and Dorridge egotistic, pretentious, pompous and conceited toffs!

    Their will be a few phone calls to Spelman tonight!!!!

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    1. It is funny, now I think we should have a discount store in knowle. This snobbery is a relatively new thing to Knowle. When I first moved here, yes it was more expensive than Birmingham, but I wanted to live relatively rural and it was a nice place, years ago it was just a small country village with normal people who had lived round here for generations, now its just full of annoying people who have turned orange from the sunbed, too much makeup, and my god way too much perfume.

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    2. If you must really make silly comments about other people then please have the decency to give your names, that is if you have the courage of your convictions.

      As regards the Waitress decision to put their plans on hold, I hope they do eventually decide to abandon them because it would only have made the parking situation even worse than it is at present.

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  8. Is it not about time Solihull Council did something about the dangerous parking around St Johns Close.The council have put this off for far too long.Even the police seem to turn a blind eye to the ridiculous parking on corners.Perhaps Solihull Council were hoping Waitrose/Kimberley would pay for the work to be done. The £2.00 a day parking charge is killing off the High Street!

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  9. I think it is the site at Homer Road that is being offered to Lidl or Asda.

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  10. To 'Bob James' (made up name) tone down your perfume, reduce your sunbed and stop being so annoying!

    Obviously the comments were quite close to the truth 'Bob'!!!!!!

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    1. Well, you still haven't given your name and think you can write any load of nonsense about other people with impunity. As I have said before to "Silhillian" I think it is a big mistake to let contributors be anonymous. Everyone should post their own views under their own names, otherwise their comments are worthless.

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    2. Why are you so bothered about names for goodness sake, I'm anonymous on here because from the drop down menu, I don't subscribe to any of these, hence "anonymous". And maybe some people want to stay anonymous for fear of retribution. I know people who voiced their opinion about Dorridge Sainsbury's then regretted it. So "Bob James", don't assume everyone is anonymous because they want to annoy the c**p out of you. And just to keep you happy, I will sign my name at the end, over and out, Richard Williams, a local resident and anonymous profile.

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    3. In case you didn't know, if you choose "NAME/URL" you can simply type in your name (or indeed a pseudonym) and it appears in place of Anonymous. This helps to keep track of who's commenting with no need to divulge your real-life ID or inside leg measurement.

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  11. Seems the possible aldi/lidl store is really hitting hard and possibly more controversial than Dorridge Sainsburys. Appears to be 2 types of people living in Knowle, those who are pretty down to earth and don't mind shopping at cheaper stores and couldn't give a monkeys about brand names, and then there's those who seem to think Knowle is some sort of Beverley Hills and will only shop at designer stores - You've got to laugh ;-)

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  12. Waitrose in the village would have been fantastic and would have increased local property prices (as it has done in Kenilworth) but having Aldi or Lidl will lower them. One good rule of thumb when looking for somewhere nice to live is "within 1 mile of a Waitrose" yes another is don't buy a house in an area that has Lidl or Aldi. I was thinking of buying in Knowle about 3 years ago, but didn't. Now I'm glad I didn't as Aldo / Lidl will completely change the village for the worse.

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    1. And that is the point. People are too worried about house prices, you will still live in the same house, there is more to life than how much your house is worth. I'm originally from Dorridge but after uni I worked in the north, then struggled to buy a house back in Dorridge when I finally came back, the house prices are far too inflated as it is. And you would be very surprised how many people in Knowle/Dorridge/Lapworth do actually shop in discount stores, most people these days really aren't bothered about a label. Lots of people with money don't want to part with it.

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  13. IT IS THE HOMER ROAD SITE THAT MIGHT BECOME A LIDL!!!!

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  14. It would be best if the Waitrose Store does go ahead in the near future as it is difficult when things are put on hold and I do think the store would be a positive for the area - even though I myself would be unlikely to shop there. Don't start all this scare mongering about parking again - we've heard it all before - Sainsbury's was going to cause gridlock, the new parking scheme in knowle car park the same. Where has this rumour about Lidl at Homer Road come from - possibly the same source as 'Waitrose have bought the Dorridge Sainsburs' site that was going around a couple of years ago.

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  15. Waitrose are still in discussion with the other retailers/agents, their will be a formal announcement on September 2nd.

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  16. Thanks for the information - how did you access it?

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  17. Seems to me, you cant win, whether it's an up market Sainsbury or Waitrose, or down market discount store, these certainly bring a divide to the community. Aldi want Tesco's business, and where you see a Tesco, you will usually see an Aldi close by (usually, not always), so if you don't want an Aldi to reduce your house price, then don't shop at Tesco, and it will close through lack of trade. People will always aspire to move to Knowle and Dorridge because of the good schools and nice houses, so stop worrying, a discount store isn't going to turn the area into a cesspit where no one wants to live. Even before Tesco and Sainsbury people aspired to live in the area.

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  18. People need to go back to basics in considering this. Waitrose in Solihull makes perfect sense - linked with John Lewis's across the road, aspirational shopping area, Hall Green an odd place to have a Waitrose in the first place. Waitrose are not like Sainsbury's, they are simply looking at their bottom line and where works, they are not into any improvement of area schemes - comments from council officers make it clear that dealing with Sainsbury's was a dream compared with dealing with Waitrose who are not prepared to give anything other than what they are forced to give. With Mell Square being developed to provide more housing as well as shops, they can see more local shoppers on the horizon. If Waitrose don't go into Solihull they are essentially saying they are giving up their aspirations to grow as a company.

    Waitrose in Knowle never made any sense, especially with Sainsbury's in the offing. The access was too constrained, and they depend on attracting people from a wider area, not just being a local shop, because in the end they are too expensive to be a one stop shop for all your shopping needs.With the very poor access, no visibility to the outside world so not very discoverable, why would Waitrose really have been interested? I don't think that they ever really properly understood the constraints of the site. I doubt Aldi would be interested because the build costs are too high, too much reorganisation of the area to undertake, so I think that Kimberley will eventually find space to build a few houses to recoup their outlay and move on.

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  19. Not sure about Waitrose are worse to deal with than any other. When they built in Kenilworth they built a new community cetre as part of the deal - none of these big companies do it because they want to but rather because they have to. Do think Waitrose in Knowle is potentially a viable option but will wait to see if Waitrose themselves think so.

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  20. It would be good to get a 99p or Poundland shop in Knowle, were not all toffs and stuck up here.

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  21. Most places have a Poundland or two - its a good idea and it will bring in lots of new faces to the area.

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  22. I'm pretty sure years ago Knowle did have an independent cheapy shop, someone on here mentioned Kenilworth having a Waitrose, where there is also an independent discount store.

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    1. There is a cheapy shop almost next to Tesco in Knowle. The staff are very helpful and they sell lots of useful things.

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  23. Coincidentally work has started on the Waitrose site opposite John Lewis in Solihull this month. I agree, having Waitrose next to John Lewis makes perfect sense. Why on earth would they want another store in ‘little’ Knowle when there is a big Sainsbury’s up the road to compete with?!

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  24. There's no benefit at all from having a Waitrose near a John Lewis. Operationally, they operate as separate businesses. Customer wise, I'm either going shopping for groceries etc or shopping for dept store items. Never at the same time.

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  25. Personally I wouldn't shop at Waitrose even if it was conveniently in Knowle, its far too dear. I don't see why I should pay more for the same product I can get cheaper in a different supermarket.

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  26. Having a Waitrose in Knowle is perfect now there is a Sainsbury in Dorridge as everyone knows Sainsbury helps keep the riff Raff out of Waitrose !

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  27. If Waitrose can't make money with this site do you really believe that Lidl or Aldi would take it on? Waitrose have big margins. Lidl and Aldi have small margins. Can you really see Aldi or Lidl building a quality supermarket from expensive building materials and then paying to restructure all of the parking in Knowle? Come on think before you type!

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