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It’s a mystery

I refer to your article ‘Store Chiefs Hit Back’. I wonder if Sainsbury’s know what they put in their 2011 Planning Application Form.

I refer to your article ‘Store Chiefs Hit Back’. I wonder if Sainsbury’s know what they put in their 2011 Planning Application Form. The ‘total gross new internal floor space’ is quoted as 8,310 sq m. In 2009 it was 5,396 sq m for shops. The current proposal for the development has increased by 50 per cent from what was proposed in 2009.

Sainsbury’s stated that the company has earmarked 1,239 sq m for the smaller independent units. Again, do we know what their intentions are when they have recorded an intention for four separate lots of 1,239 sq m of trading floor for drinking establishments, restaurants and cafes, hot food takeaways and financial and professional services.

These figures are all in their planning application form. I think Sainsbury’s should look at all the figures that they have published to make sure that they hang together, read their own planning application and then come clean just what their intentions are because right now no one knows for sure.

The logic that the building has to be big to support the space needed for roof top parking seems both costly and illogical, surely the development size should meet the needs of local people and the car park put underneath well out of view. Come on Sainsbury’s you can do better than this.

Bryan Hunt, Arden Drive


Don’t be fooled

Last week’s rash of letters supporting the advance of Sainsbury’s, needs a reply.

A simple one. Do not be beguiled by them. Their interests are solely to build big, to attract the masses, and to reward their shareholders. Dorridge is an incidental spot on the map for the exercise.

There has been an increasing number of residents who question the plan. “It’s too big” is the phrase they use and they view the consequences with deep concern.

Why can’t your correspondents see that if we stick together we should be able to persuade Sainsbury’s to build us something of the right size for our needs, and not for the vast numbers they want to attract. We fear the burgeoning traffic and dangers to our children, to our health and to our wellbeing.

Big business and deceptive PR should not rule the day and it’s not progress!

Jean Shearman, Dorridge resident


Going, going, gone

I strongly support Sainsbury’s revised planning application for the redevelopment of the Forest Court site in Dorridge.

The DROVS group have indulged in scaremongering and have made incorrect assertions during their campaign. They are now claiming that a majority of Dorridge residents are against the revised Sainsbury’s plan. This is most certainly incorrect.

Realistically, if DROVS have their way, we shall be left with the highly depressing sight of the desolate, dishevelled, Forest Court site, which has blighted the village centre.

Gone, for 9,000 Dorridge residents, will be the opportunity to have a comprehensive modern store with independent retail units,which will revitalise the village.

Gone, also, will be the greatly enlarged and refurbished doctors’ surgery.

Let us hope that our planners and councillors will appreciate the golden opportunity offered by Sainsbury’s by passing the revised plans.

Don Eckley via e-mail


Hidden agenda

Sainsbury’s have acquired the Forest Court site at considerable cost and have then sought to impose a vast superstore on the people of Dorridge. They have sought to sweeten local opinion with the promise of an enhanced doctors’ surgery.

However, unlike your correspondent Gordon Harvey and those sharing his views, I and many others have declined to roll over and die for Sainsbury’s but would be happy to welcome a development appropriate to the needs of Dorridge and the immediate locality.

Notwithstanding Sainsbury’s stated catchment area, the reality is that their current proposal, if it comes to fruition, would attract custom from a large swathe of Solihull proper. This, I contend, has always been Sainsbury’s intention, albeit unstated.

Pat Wells, Knowle


Patient’s fears

Arising from comments by Dorridge Surgery staff in your letters page last weekend I would like to pose the following questions:

“If you were charged with the task of finding a suitable site for a practice of around 11,000 patients, would you choose to locate it adjacent to the busy entrance to a large super-market car park? Would you consider this to be good planning practice?”

“If you were a partner in an established practice and a large supermarket applied for planning permission to site a busy car park immediately adjacent to your surgery, would you be concerned for the safety of your patients?

Dorridge Patient


They’ll be back

SOME people in Dorridge seem to have the notion that if their planning application is not approved Sainsbury’s will turn their backs on Dorridge and leave Forest Court empty.

If their application is refused Sainsbury’s will not leave it; they will come back with a smaller proposal.

There are as many planning applications for new supermarkets going though as there are supermarkets actually in operation in this country now. If Sainsbury’s tell you that a smaller store would not be viable – don’t believe them.

Say no to Sainsbury’s with this scheme and they’ll be back with a smaller version – just wait and see!

Michael Harper, Grove Road, Dorridge


Speaking up

I was astonished to read Dr Markham’s comments regarding Dorridge surgery ‘not being fit for a modern day GP Practice’.

It appears that only now, when Sainsbury’s are offering to pay for a remodelled surgery on condition of obtaining planning permission for their proposed store, does Dr Markham speak publicly about the inadequacy of the existing surgery building.

Alan McWilliam via e-mail


Speak out

I urge the residents of Dorridge to speak out for the planning application for Sainsbury’s in Dorridge.

The regeneration of Forest Court is long overdue and to miss this very good opportunity would be a blow to the revitalisation of Dorridge.

I believe that the issues of increased traffic have been well addressed by the planners. Of course the renewal of trading in Dorridge will bring increased traffic. That must be a healthy sign of life in a now defunct shopping centre.

I believe that Sainsbury’s have been imaginative in resiting and improving existing businesses and that this promises well for the future mix of shopping opportunities in Dorridge.

Please do write to your local councillors and the Planning Officer, Julia Sykes, to save Dorridge from a long and lingering death.

Marion Walker, Weston Close, Dorridge


Let’s be clear

It’s laughable that the Dorridge surgery say that they have “kept a very low profile” regarding the Sainsbury’s development. How is organising a pro-Sainsbury’s petition keeping a very low profile? Or displaying beguiling artists’ impressions of the new premises that Sainsbury’s proposes to bankroll?

Let’s be very clear on this: the GPs’ practice is a business whose stakeholders stand to benefit handsomely from any investment. It’s sickening that they feel the need to manipulate patients into supporting this vastly oversized retail development.

M Walker, Edstone Close, Dorridge



Cathrina Hulse
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