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Well run? Not

HAS anyone else been in touch regarding how chaotic Birmingham airport gets on a Monday morning?

HAS anyone else been in touch regarding how chaotic Birmingham airport gets on a Monday morning? This morning, at 6am, the queue to get through passport control was wrapped round the normal queuing area, down a flight of stairs, along the concourse then out the door.

This has happened for about the last 10 weeks and the situation seems to be deteriorating. Indeed today, there were five flights on ‘final call’ when customer services asked for anyone on these flights to come to the front of the queue, at which point there was practically a stampede.

I read that Birmingham Aiport has masses of spare passenger capacity...well, they need to sort out managing existing passenger numbers before attempting to take on any more.

Other issues I experience are:

1) Automated check-in machines out of service. Today only two out of five were working.

2) When I land on a Thursday the doors to pass through the terminal building are closed so the whole plane waits while a call is made to get authorisation to open the doors.

3) Air bridges not working so we have to wait for steps.

4) Bags taking an age to arrive on the carousel.

I think our pilot on Flybe flight BE841 this morning summed it up perfectly when he said this morning to the whole plane ‘Birmingham Airport, a well run airport....not’.

James Lines via e-mail


Save the park

RESIDENTS group ‘Keep Shirley Alive’ has always been in favour of an appropriate development in Shirley. Unlike the developers and Asda we have no financial interest in ‘Parkgate’, we are just residents who want the best for our community.

We have however been opposed to a development that involves yet another large supermarket in an area already dominated by seven of them.

The developers have just presented their latest plans, so why are we still opposed?

• Like other residents we still believe another large ‘one stop’ supermarket could be the last straw for many of our remaining independent shops.

• Another superstore will bring in so much additional traffic it could make residents lives a misery.

• The development takes nearly three acres of precious parkland and green open space.

We note that talks are now starting about building 100 houses on the old Powergen site (Asda own the lease); why do they need our parkland as well?

Having said all that, we see that Shirley has suffered in the recession. However, we have a new Council and we are in a new situation; so why not a new initiative?

For example; why not an Asda ‘Living’ store as an anchor for a smaller development? Tesco have also said in the past that they would like to relocate from their store on the border with Hall Green without taking any parkland. No doubt the developers will dismiss these, but we believe a smaller development without taking parkland is possible.

Robert Cawte

On behalf of Keep Shirley Alive


Looking tired

AS a retailer in Shirley I am concerned as to whether we need yet another supermarket. So you may be surprised to know that I am in favour of the proposed new development. To my eyes, Shirley is beginning to look very tired! We need to inject some life back into it; Parkgate would do that.

I can only hope that sensible plans can be made so that the trade of existing retailers is not adversely affected whilst the building work is in progress. I would also welcome a promise that no more than 10 per cent of parkland is to be lost and that a good proportion of the remaining car parking spaces will be time limited to one hour; this parking must be available for potential customers and not just provide convenient parking for staff.

Gill Phipps, Partner

Early Years


Village plea

IS Knowle a village or a town.

I believe Knowle is a village that Waitrose will turn into a shopping centre.

Waitrose’s aim is to maximise profits in wealthy areas. If the unpopular and controversial plans are accepted it will impose a shopping centre in one of our village centres and destroy Knowle’s community spirit.

That Knowle is a village and is perceived to be so by many residents is confirmed by Waitrose’s own planning documents page 49 of Appendix G in the Community Engagement document quite clearly shows that the majority of respondents clearly perceived of themselves as living in a village community.

Waitrose have chosen Knowle as fitting into the government definition of district when considering our village in retail potential.

This classification means superstores can be inflicted on village communities see (Annex B of PPS4).

Whereas the reality is Knowle is simply a large village that is defined in Solihull’s UDP as a local centre in terms of government broad criteria.

B D Jones, Solihull



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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