WHY do we have a scattering of speed humps on side road in Olton when roads like St Bernards, Silhill Hall and School Lane which invite speeding motorists don’t have any?
They are a waste of money, drivers slow down for humps and cameras, pass them sedately, then speed off.
Harry M Scharf, Ulverley Green Road, Solihull
I ATTENDED a meeting recently at which, once again the Sainsbury representative extolled the many benefits of having a Sainsbury’s store in Dorridge, ‘bringing new life to Forest Court’ conveniently forgetting they and the rest of the supermarket giants have over the years destroyed the small shopkeepers leaving ‘Forest Courts’ all over the country.
Yes, Forest Court needs a drastic facelift. Sainsbury’s stepped in and bought the site with pound signs popping from their heads, ignoring the fact that it was in the middle of a predominantly residential area with just a small shopping community.
Although they say they have reduced the size of the store in their revised plans, it is still far too large for a shopping area the size of Dorridge.
I sincerely hope that Knowle Society are taking an active interest in protecting Knowle and its quality of life and ensuring it stays a great place to live.
M Johnson, Knowle
Dear Drovs: Let me start by saying I support the Sainsburys proposal. I have followed the matter and have heard the pros and cons. Some of your concerns need to be addressed and they are my concerns as well.
What I would like the development to be in a perfect world, with no financial crisis overhanging the project. It would involve a small supermarket, like Knowle’s Tesco and artisan shops, built in a style to reflect the Victorian architecture of Station Approach. There would be more car parking and the dual carriageway would be retained.
But that is in cloud cuckoo land. The supermarket has to be of a critical size for Sainsburys to profit from its building and usage. Who will pay the rents for the artisan shops? Will you pay 50 per cent more for your cheese from a good deli, or meat from a small butcher?
Concerns about the traffic must be voiced, but unless we uninvent the car, we lost that battle years ago.
Those of you with long memories, will remember the congestion caused by deliveries to International Stores, or Bishops Supermarket. (Budgens, then Spar). With the demise of the precinct we have become used to the lack of deliveries, except for Tescos. There will be an increase in goods vehicle traffic, whatever happens to the precinct. At least Sainsburys have an in and out delivery system.
On a final note, 200 new jobs will be created, not all of Knowle and Dorridge families are wealthy and this will be a welcome boost to the local jobs market.
The Forest Court precinct is a disgrace and has to be replaced, Sainsburys may not be perfect, but life is one long compromise.
John Taverner via e-mail
Not on my list
In response to ‘On the slide’ by MB (Letters) who has lived in Shirley for 40 years, and who is alarmed by the decline; I would like to add that I have lived in Shirley for seven years, and would now like to move away from this decline, and even further away from the ‘Nimby’ brigade.
I’m looking to move to a more enlightened and forward looking area, and any suggestions would be welcome ..... needless to say, Dorridge isn’t on my shortlist!
I write this with some resignation however, as my other half likes nothing better than trawling around charity and pound shops, and is delighted with how Shirley is currently developing.
Sean Coll, Haslucks Green Road
A varied diet
AS A Dorridge and Knowle resident of some 46 years, may I take Dr John Taverner to task. We are a residential community, as so we require a good mix of independent shops, offering a variety of differing goods and services.
We were once known as a nation of small shopkeepers. We are fast becoming a nation of a few, very big multinational retailers.
The big supermarkets do provide a good service and I am one of their customers, but like a human diet, there needs to be a balance, for it to be healthy.
Simon M Johnson, Dorridge