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Planning officers back approval for Dorridge Sainsbury's

PLANNING chiefs have recommended that a highly controversial plan to redevelop the centre of Dorridge be given the go-ahead.

PLANNING chiefs have recommended that a highly controversial plan to redevelop the centre of Dorridge be given the go-ahead.

Next Wednesday, councillors are expected to make a decision on plans to put a Sainsbury's on the site of the Forest Court shopping centre.

The crunch meeting follows months of arguments about the development - which has divided Dorridge down the middle.

Campaign-group Dorridge Residents Opposing Village Superstore (DROVS) have mobilised a massive campaign against the proposals.

They argue the plans, which are a scale-backed version of a scheme thrown out last March, are still too big for the village.

Some 560 letters of opposition have been received by the council and over 1000 people have put their names to the DROVS "Wall of Support"

But Dorridge Residents' Association and the village doctor's surgery have thrown their support behind the application.

Some 132 letters in favour of the application and a 1800 signature petition have been received by the local authority

In a long-anticipated report, Solihull Council's planning officers come down in favour of the supporters.

They argue that the Sainsbury's plan presents an opportunity "to revitalise" the village centre.

The nine members of the planning committee must now decide whether they go with the recommendation, or against it.

When the committee rejected the previous proposals, Councillor Jim Ryan said Dorridge was "untouchable" when it came to bad development.

* The Solihull News will be covering the meeting, which is scheduled to start at the Civic Suite at 4.30pm.

 

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