Sainsbury store proposal in Dorridge

How is The Knowle Society planning to be involved in the discussions concerning this proposed development?

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Solihull MBC in the near future for the construction of a supermarket for Sainsbury in Dorridge. This has been widely mentioned in the press and a public consultation meeting has been held. At these it has been explained that the proposal will involve the replacement of Forest Court and the incorporation of the large car park behind into the store.

As this development is in Dorridge, it is outside the area which Knowle Society normally considers to be of direct interest. However it seems clear that the development has the potential to impact on the success of shops in Knowle and that much of the traffic attracted by the store is very likely to pass through Knowle. On this basis we have decided to pay close attention to these aspects and have accordingly met with representatives of Sainsbury to ensure that we are fully aware of the progression of their planning. This contact is being continued, especially as regards the routes to be followed by lorries supplying the store. It seems at the moment that these will pass through Knowle by some route. It will not be possible to see what effect we have had on the proposals until the planning application has been submitted. When this happens we will have another very large list of documents to understand before we can make our submission to the Council.

The plans as they were at the time of the public consultation in 2008 can be viewed by pasting this URL into your web browser:
www.sainsburysdorridge.co.uk/index.html
We understand that some changes have been made to the plans since that time.

Lodge Road – humped crossing proposed

Solihull Council is proposing a humped road crossing between Knowle (Jobs Close) Park and Nos. 89 and 93 Lodge Road. This will be combined with a narrowing of the road on the Scout Hut side. An SMBC survey form dated 26th May addressed to ‘Residents of Lodge Road’ is to be returned by 5th June.

The path from St Johns Close past the Scout Hut joins Lodge Road between Nos 89 and 93 Lodge Road. The crossing would be immediately opposite that path. The entrance to the park is just a few yards (‘metres’ to the imperially challenged) from the proposed crossing.

Many residents when questioned about the proposals for the Safe Routes To School project have highlighted addressing the crossing of Lodge Road as being of real priority and value compared with the SRTS project.

Waitrose in Knowle

Update on The Knowle Society’s understanding of the proposal to develop a Waitrose store in Knowle.

It is general knowledge that a development company, acting on behalf of Waitrose (part of The John Lewis Partnership) is intending to submit an application for a Waitrose food store in Knowle.

Representatives of Knowle Society have had two preliminary meetings with the person in charge of this scheme, in which we were told (in confidence) of their interest in the development. At that stage the plans were no more than general thoughts. We were told that they would not normally have approached us at that stage as their plans were not advanced enough, but they felt that the news about the Sainsbury plans required them to do so.

We have had a second meeting to see how their plans were developing and this enabled us to comment on aspects we were not comfortable with. However there was nothing concrete enough for us to comment publicly upon.

Even though the news about the intention to build the store is now public we do not have solid enough information to comment upon. We are awaiting further contact with the company and will ensure that Members of the Society are given any information as soon as possible.

Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in May 2009

The Trustee Directors decided at their May 2009 meeting to report the topics that were discussed at their committee meeting. Discussion on Society matters is welcomed on the ‘Forum’.

In order of discussion:

1. A minute’s silence to remember former Director Derek Mellor and to consider a fitting means of recognising his huge contribution to the Society.

2. Update on Knowle Green Community Project – initial planning steps commencing.

3. Plans for the Society’s part in the Knowle Festival in June.

4. Decision to abandon attempts to explore a meeting about the NHS Trust.

5. Safe Routes to School project update – concern at lack of public meeting, plans to lobby action against current proposals.

6. Bus Timetable changes – notification of impending new timetable.

7. Christmas Lights – update.

8. Updates on Marina planning application and Sainsburys and Waitrose projects.

9. Proposed new Environment (natural world) committee for the Society.

10. Agreed to obtain costs for new display/storage cabinets for the Local History Centre.

11. Agreed to Bryan Smart becoming the new Membership Secretary.

12. Website and Newsletter content discussion.

Derek Mellor, dies after a short illness

The Knowle Society is very sad to announce that Derek Mellor, has died after a serious stroke followed by a period in hospital. Derek was very active as Membership Secretary, past chairman of the local history committee and a former Trustee Director of the Society.

Derek’s funeral will take place at 10.30am on Monday 18 May at Robin Hood Crematorium. Family flowers only, but donations to ‘The Knowle Society’ via Bragg & Sons, the undertaker.

Note from the Local History Committee chairman:

Derek was past Chairman of the Local History Committee remaining on the committee after he stepped down as Chairman last November. He will be remembered by many for the excellent talks, visits and exhibitions he planned and organised and for his indefatigable work in general for The Knowle Society over the last few years.

Under his chairmanship the local history committee revised and re-published the Guide to Central Knowle, for which Derek personally contributed several stunning photographs. Other initiatives included a DVD of the Ratcliff films of Knowle, afternoon talks on historical subjects, several highly successful historical visits and an enthusiastic and hard-working committee setting up regular exhibitions and completely overhauling the cataloguing and storage of the Society’s historical artifacts and records.

Derek will be missed by many people for many reasons not least by ‘His’ history team who will endeavour to carry on his work to the same high standards that he demanded of himself.

Note from the Chairman of The Knowle Society:

Derek was also the membership secretary of the Society which included co-ordinating distribution of the newsletter. To say that he did the job well is a gross under-statement. His attention to detail in an organisation that grew to over 3000 members during his time in the post was exemplary. He and his team were superb in ensuring the smooth running of the database and of the army of distributors, both of bulk numbers and also street deliverers. He also kept his dry sense of humour in doing so. He will be very much missed.