SAINSBURY’S have hit back at road safety claims made against plans for a new Shirley store in its appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
Solihull Council refused the application for a Sainsbury’s on Haslucks Green Road last October, on the grounds of road safety and parking. The plans had drawn over 1,800 objections by concerned traders and local residents.
But Sainsbury’s have claimed their plans would have improved safety around the Station Parade.
“We have made thorough and robust assessments to demonstrate that our proposals would in fact help improve, not jeopardise, safety on Haslucks Green Road,” said regional acquisitions manager, Patrick Joyce.
“It is important to highlight this, as we feel that aspects of our proposals had been overlooked by the council’s planning committee when it turned down our application.”
The retailer claimed it had proposed 24, 90-degreee parking spaces on the council’s request to allow drivers better access to parking bays and said its proposed pedestrian crossing would help reduce traffic speeds and improve safety.
But opponents including Raj Chaggers of Chaggers Supermarket had condemned the parking plans as “absolutely ridiculous” and highlighted several serious accidents taking place on Haslucks Green Road over the last six months, including a major crash between a bus and skip lorry which hospitalised four people.
Shirley West ward councillor Hannah Tildesley (Con) added: “Sainsbury’s should listen to the residents’ concerns.
“There has been massive opposition to these plans.
“Even if they won their appeal, they’d have to assess what level of custom they can attract after local feeling has been that strong.”
But Ms Joyce said Sainsbury’s remained “committed” to creating a new store and was hopeful the council’s decision would be overturned.