A LOCAL businessman has backed plans for a proposed supermarket in Dorridge despite the formation of a pressure group against the development.
Neil Charrington of C A Software Systems and Karma Beauty & Holistic Therapies, both in the village, is convinced the current proposals from Sainsbury’s for a 26,500 sq ft store, is the best option for the beleaguered Forest Court centre which has slowly lost shops and stores in recent years.
A resident of Dorridge for 14 years, Mr Charrington said: “As a businessman, it is important for the local economy to thrive. Building a new Sainsbury’s will increase the workforce, creating 200 plus new jobs. The existing empty premises in and around the square will also soon be populated. The new businesses that will be drawn to Dorridge Village Centre will also result in a more diverse work-force. Local businesses, such as accountants, solicitors and other service-based companies will also benefit.
This, in turn, will probably result in expansions and increased revenue for the local economy.”
And he had a message for those opposing the development. “If you are not careful you will not have a village centre. There are only two or three left in Forest Court and when they move out it will be dead.
“Dorridge needs something. Customers who come into our salon agree we need this development otherwise Dorridge will be a ghost town. Our business in Forest Court is suffering badly at this moment and the decline cannot wholly be laid at the door of a recession or the weather. Businesses will not survive if nothing is done.”
However members of the newly formed action group Dorridge Residents Opposed to Village Superstore (DROVS) are bitterly opposed to what they see as the ‘destruction’ of Dorridge village centre.
A DROVS spokesperson said: “Sainsbury’s claim that what Dorridge needs is a major superstore, but in our view they have missed the big issues – what it would do to the character of this suburban commuter village and how the roads would cope with the extra traffic it would pull in. We also want to see whether the council is getting expert, objective, independent advice on the retail and traffic impact.
“The whole scale of the scheme is completely out of keeping with Dorridge. If it is approved, we would lose most of our small shops. We might just as well rename the place Sainsbury’s.”
Readers can contact DROVS by emailing DROVS@hotmail.co.uk or by calling 01564 230091.