Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in January 2012

1. No further developments were reported in the Kimberley/Waitrose planning application which is expected to be heard by Solihull Council in February. In the meantime the Society will be meeting with the Council to discuss Conservation Area concerns in respect of the application.

2. Arrangements were tabled for the four events celebrating the Society’s Jubilee year. It was agreed in particular that the ‘Tea Party’ with birthday cake to be held in the Village Hall would be thrown open to the whole community, whether members of the Society or not. It was noted that the Any Question? broadcast was likely to be over-subscribed.

3. It was agreed to continue exploring the possibility of a full-colour newsletter – perhaps using a design and print service, though there were reservations about taking that route. The change could be made coincident with appointing a new editor, for which volunteers would be sought.

4. It was agreed to form a new committee (possibly to be named ‘Membership Services’) which would pull together the five member-related activities of Membership, Newsletter, Distribution, Website and Publicity. The need for greater coordination of these activities was recognised as the Society continues to respond to changes in communication and technology.

5. Although the Society has adequate funds at present it is recognised that is growing role in community events (such as the Christmas lights) and developments in the newsletter may cause regular expenditure to exceed income and that the subscriptions which have remained unchanged for many years, could require review.

6. Knowle Green Community Project – It was reported that there was possible private interest being expressed in developing this block. The Society would look further into this report but also noted that the block was actually owned by the Council.

7. Diana Holl-Allen representing the Knowle Councillors assured the meeting that the Local Development Framework would be seeking a lot of input from the community; she also stressed that if the community does not respond then decisions will be imposed upon it. She also reported that Council Tax is to be frozen for the next year and that the cemetery at Widney Manor is to be expanded.

8. Knowle Library – it was reported that the relationship with the library service over our Saturday afternoon opening arrangements is becoming increasingly positive and further developments are anticipated. Some 700 people have used this facility in which a 70% were children.

9. Christmas Lights – the condition and quantity of the remaining tree lights was such that it was agreed that enquiries would be made about the purchase of new LED lights.

10. One much valued committee member resignation was noted and two new ones were approved.

11. The future of the former bypass land and the lack of a potential walking link between Longdon Road and this land; the Society’s continued interest in being willing to assist with the Streamside Trust and the difficulty in selecting a suitable place for planting of a Jubilee tree in the autumn land was discussed. Solihull Council had expressed its willingness to cooperate in the planting a tree.

Society’s Response to the Waitrose/Kimberley Proposals – update

Following the well supported meetings on these proposals which were held on 3 & 4 November 2011, the Society has made an initial response dealing with what people said is the most concerning aspect of the proposals, the lack of parking. The Society’s analysis (attached) of the parking provision shows that, even taking into account all the developments, the parking provision will be even worse than at present if the plans go ahead.

St John’s Close – Initial response to SMBC _car parking provision_2

Analysing the public’s response forms on the Kimberley planning applications

We need some temporary help! Can you use your skills and a few hours of spare time to help the Society by analysing the response forms that people are completing with their comments on the latest planning application? [Help now offered!]

If you are comfortable using Microsoft Excel (or its Open Office equivalent) at a fairly basic level, we would appreciate your help through to the middle of November. An existing template is available to help along the task. We anticipate receiving around 200 forms (we already have about 100) which will continue to come in until the closing date of 11th November. Please email ‘planning’ at the usual email address if you can offer help. We look forward to hearing from you.

PS – We are pleased to say that a member has kindly come forward and offered help and is hard at work on the job! (14 Nov 2011)

Public display & meeting about Kimberley/Waitrose development plans


A new application has been made for a modified scheme to build a Waitrose food store in Knowle, together with associated car parking, replacement bungalows, external alterations to the village hall and delivery access from Station Road. In order to allow residents to understand the proposals and give their views on them, The Knowle Society has arranged two public events (Read more for details).

The first will be at Knowle Village Hall between 7pm and 9pm on Thursday 3rd November. On this evening copies of the plans and supporting documents will be available for study. Members of the Society’s planning committee will be in attendance to help with interpreting the details of the plans. You will be able to submit questions and record your comments.

The second event will take place on the evening of Friday 4th November, also at the Village Hall between 7pm and 9pm. At this time you will be able to hear from the developers about their plans and to ask questions. Present will be Philip Pearce from Kimberley Ltd. the developers, Dean Guy, their architect and also a representative of Waitrose. At the end of the meeting you will be able to record your comments.

Your comments can also be made by emailing or on the Forum on this website if you would like your views to be more widely known. Locate ‘Current forum topics’ at the top right of this web page then select ‘Kimberley/Waitrose revised proposal’ and decide whether to post a comment anonymously or signed – generally speaking named comments carry slightly more weight than anonymous ones. Comments may be made by anyone, whether a member of The Knowle Society or not. They do not appear on the site immediately because they are first checked by the editor who has to weed out a far larger number of ‘spam’ comments from distant parts of the world! You can of course also make comments directly to the Council by letter or on their website.