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Rethink on plans: village hall to stay and store size cut

A PLANNING application to redevelop parts of Knowle which will include a Waitrose store, has been submitted to Solihull Council.

A PLANNING application to redevelop parts of Knowle which will include a Waitrose store, has been submitted to Solihull Council.

Kimberley Developments are behind the controversial scheme which has been revised from its original proposal put forward in January 2010 after objections from residents.

The key changes have included reducing the size of the store by 24 per cent and keeping the village hall as well as ensuring deliveries do not enter the village centre.

The number of car parking spaces has also been increased. In addition the developers have introduced improvements to the plan following an exhibition in the village in June including the provision of additional off-street parking on St John’s Close, two new pedestrian crossings on St John’s Close and Station Road, an additional entry/exit point to the proposed enlarged public car park and individual porches to the proposed new bungalows.

Philip Pearce of Kimberley Developments said: “The comments from the community have again been invaluable and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed towards helping define our proposal.

“We are confident we are submitting an application that is a significant improvement on the original proposal and can deliver long-term benefits for the village.”

Leighton Jones, deputy chairman of The Knowle Society said: “I think I would be willing to say that the developers have made a significant improvement but there are still a lot of details we need to look at.

“We need to study the application as it’s a major application as far as Knowle is concerned.”

Nigel Keen, Waitrose director of development, added: “We have wanted to come to Knowle for a long time and believe the application can ensure we cannot only deliver a store that will improve the choice of supermarket available locally, but can make a valuable, long-term contribution to the village.”

The application is expected to be heard early next year and if successful, the store would open in 2013.

 

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