Preparing for a Knowle Neighbourhood Plan

Communities in small villages and large cities are taking control over the future development of their neighbourhoods. They are shaping the places where they live and work, and deciding what type of development is needed, where it should go and what it should look like. People in over 1,200 areas have started working on a neighbourhood plan, with over 140 plans published. 37 of these have gone to referendums and all of these have won resounding victories as local residents have turned out in large numbers to agree the plan written by their neighbourhood plan group.

The Knowle Society and Dorridge & District Residents’ Association (DDRA) are cooperating to initiate the independent body which would drive forward the creation of a local Neighbourhood Plan in Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath. The details of this initiative are in the leaflet circulated to all homes in Knowle & Dorridge as an insert to the December 2014 issue of Look Local – a copy is attached below.

Simultaneous drop-in sessions to collect comments from local people are taking place on Saturday 6th December at Knowle Library (10am-3pm) and the newly refurbished Dorridge Station Waiting Room (Platform 1 – not the Ticket Hall) (10am-2pm). The results of these drop-ins will be fed back at a Public Meeting at Arden Academy on Wednesday 7th January 2015, when it is hoped that the new independent committee will be formed to work on this plan.

Everyone in Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath is invited and welcome to come to any of these meetings. We hope that you will find this new initiative a really interesting and worthwhile development for the community.

Neighbourhood Plan leaflet

Waitrose – first steps begun


Visible evidence of the first steps being taken in the significant ‘Waitrose’ development were seen in the car park of the ‘Red Lion’ today, Monday 7th October 2013. The hedge of the former bowling green that borders the car park was being cut down; our photo shows this work with the High Street being on the back left of the viewer.

The works being shown in this photograph are only the initial preparatory stage. It is likely that nothing much else will be done until around Easter next year, as a few final details still have to be agreed.

We understand that part of these works is to move a protected animal species so the development, which has planning permission, can go ahead and that this is a suitable time of year to do so. The Council was well aware of the presence of the animals when they granted planning permission and one of the conditions of approval was that they should be handled in accordance with the law. After consideration of the issues, Natural England has granted a licence for the removal and re-homing of the animals and the work is being supervised by a qualified person.

By-pass – drop-in meetings

If you are concerned, as is the Knowle Society, to see the land allocated to the route of the proposed Knowle by-pass being kept as open spaces rather than being released for building – please come and chat to us informally over a cup or tea/coffee and biscuits at Knowle Village Hall on:

Friday 8 March 5pm-7pm
Saturday 9 March 10am-12am

There will be members of the Society present and helpful displays to assist in appreciating the land areas and issues involved. Your comments and expressions of concern on the subject would be really valuable in our exploration of this opportunity.

Waitrose store approved

Solihull Council has approved the application to build a Waitrose store and associated works in Knowle.

The vote was carried by 8 to 1. A significant list of conditions was attached to this approval. Construction work is unlikely to commence before Summer 2013. The chairman of The Knowle Society’s Planning Committee spoke against the application largely on the grounds of inadequate parking provision.

The members of the Committee were very complimentary about the input to this process that came from The Knowle Society, which had contributed positively to the sympathetic final design of the store.