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In firing line

RE: The Waitrose store application. This large store will dominate and overwhelm historic Knowle.

RE: The Waitrose store application. This large store will dominate and overwhelm historic Knowle. A nearby site in Hampton Road could be used saving the High Street and avoiding congestion.

Widening of the narrow passageway from the High Street plus deliveries to Waitrose will cause disruption, congestion and danger.

Relocation of the bungalows with loss of a pleasant view over the Green is unwelcome, the village hall also.

DTZ market research is inaccurate and misleading - apparently no targeting of Knowle residents, only outlying villages.

Kimberly Design does not complement historic Knowle and the new open space invites BMX, skateboards and general misbehaviour. ‘The large number of proposed trees exceeds the number of removals’. This surely means a great loss of existing trees.

The Knowle Society’s 1987 Silver Jubilee walnut tree (on the Village Hall Green) was saved by moving a few new parking spaces following my campaign. Waitrose only offer a replacement semi-mature walnut elsewhere. This must be opposed.

Dr Bowers’ rare evergreen Turnerii Oak outside Janita’s is at risk as is his beech in the Red Lion hedge.

How can local business survive a two year building programme that so disrupts traffic, parking and shopping?

Stella Jarman

Knowle Tree Warden

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Store threat

RE: Application by Kimberely Developments/Waitrose. I was appointed chief planning assistant to the Solihull Council in 1962. The high street at that time comprised a mix of shops, offices and a monumental masons yard and workshop.

In the 1960s a number of new shops were built and many of the existing shops also extended their premises. During the same period large scale housing estates developed which should have secured the viability of the local shops. However, when Mell Square opened (and later Safeway/Morrisons and Tesco at Monkspath), the shops experienced a loss of trade.

The exhibition put on by Kimberley’s did not put forward evidence of a demand for additional shops to justify Waitrose’s proposal. If it were to be build where would the customers be drawn from?

A further fundamental objection to any proposed store on this site is that it is located within a residential area and outside the present shopping area.

Whilst Kimberley’s artists impressions illustrate how attractive the proposal would look they are misleading and give the impression of a spacious site. It would be instructive to look at the proposed site (the village hall) from the properties alongside the PO sorting office, to appreciate that the proposed store would be almost twice as long and twice as high as at the moment.

If a building of this size were to be built in this location it would dominate this part of the village.

The proposed access from the High Street alongside the Loch Fyne restaurant would be totally inadequate.

This would inevitably lead to alterations having to be made to the road and pavements. The council would also have to overcome the present congestion and parking in St John’s Close and Lodge Road.

If this application were to be approved the result would have a devastating effect on the quality of the village life.

Alan & Alice Riley

Longdon Croft, Knowle

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Of no benefit

The proposals for Knowle are based on the premise that the current appearance of the village from St. John’s Close is cluttered and unattractive.

So, what do we have at present? Looking from left to right: first we see the Post Office building; then the car park next to village hall and the view behind of the precinct and another car park; then the village hall itself; next is the roadway leading to two small car parks; finally the row of community bungalows. Now, what are the wonderful changes that will enhance all our lives? The Post Office building will remain; also the car park with the view behind to the precinct; the hall will be replaced by the much larger store; the roadway and the bungalows will be replaced by a large car park.. This is supposed to be an improvement?

Bob James,

Longdon Road, Knowle

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Trees anger

I AM writing concerning Solihull Council, in the past two weeks the council have employed 12 young men to cut down three beautiful fir trees in Pailton Road and corner of Wolston Close (off Olton Road).

Why did anyone need to spoil these beautiful olive green trees? I have no garden and live in a flat, but they were part of the lovely scenery. Now just three tree stumps remain.

An angry Pailton Road resident

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Rail fears

THE High Speed 2 proposal erupted five weeks ago, spreading a cloud of long-term harm and reduced property values across a swathe of the borough.

However, for most residents, Ignorance still seems to be bliss. In some areas, public meetings have already been held, and the parish councils in the east of the borough will be doing so after the elections are out the way. Meanwhile, links are being forged with councils and residents groups along the whole route from London to Birmingham, and it’s planned to visit the existing high speed line in Kent to get a better feel for what is involved.

Solihull Council has been ineffective in resisting erosion of the Meriden Gap greenbelt.

Some residents may feel these changes have done little harm, but they’ll take a different view when bombarded with 250 mph trains.

Residents can start making their views known by commenting on the Exceptional Hardship Scheme, which purports to compensate those already suffering financial loss.

However, the benefits will prove illusory, due to restrictive conditions and an apparent plan to make property owners cover the first 15 per cent of loss!

Please see ww.hs2-ladbroke.net/index.php?option=com_content&view= article&id=9:ehs-g-long-response-5-april-2010&catid=1:news-blog-category and get your views submitted.

Councillor Richard Lloyd

Balsall Common

 

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