Knaphill speaks out against Sainsbury’s failure to consult local people


You still have time to make comments to Woking Borough Council.

The recent news that the local Sainsbury’s Super Store was planning a major expansion has shocked and angered many local people. Many residents have contacted KRA to ask that the local community be properly consulted before Woking Borough Council (WBC) makes any decision about Sainsbury’s Planning Application.

Sainsbury’s seem to have kept very quiet about their plans. They wrote to only the 407 houses (and one business) that are their immediate neighbours, (but the impact of their expansion has serious implications for the wider community of Knaphill and the surrounding area). Their letter was very general and low key in tone, giving no specific information about the impact of what they repeatedly imply is just modernization and improvement; the letter was very much a notification for a plan that had already been finalised and submitted to Woking Borough Council (WBC). At no time has Sainsbury’s offered local people genuine consultation about their proposals and WBC Planning Officers seems to have done little to insist that Sainsbury’s do more than the bare minimum.

After hearing from many concerned residents the KRA submitted a letter of formal objections to WBC’s Planning Case Officer regarding the Sainsbury’s Planning Application.

We based our objections on a number of important points:

  1. There was insufficient Community Consultation
  2. Sainsbury’s failed to undertake a full Retail Impact Assessment
  3. Sainsbury’s failed to undertake a full Transport Assessment
  4. Concerns regarding negative Environmental Impact
  5. Concerns regarding the potential negative impact on the local community.

The PDF of our letter is attached here: WBC_Letter1

You can see the Woking Borough Council website for more information:

Key in the Application Reference PLAN/2010/0600.  
REMEMBER, YOU CAN STILL REGISTER YOUR COMMENTS AND ANY OBJECTIONS! Although the initial date for making representations has passed you can still submit your views. We will keep updating the pages here to tell you what is happening, but the important message today is that: It is NOT too late for local residents to have your say. The WBC Planning Committee Meeting that may have this item on the Agenda is likely to be 28th September or 19th October. You can keep on writing in and sending comments prior to the Planning Meeting.

So, if you have friends and neighbours who you know have an opinion on the Sainsbury’s Plans, but who have not yet written in tell them to send in their emails and letters urgently now!
Send them direct to:
Adrian Bishop, Borough Planning Officer:

and James Hutchison (Case Officer)
or by writing to them at Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Woking GU21 6YL.

Shopping habits and lifestyles change. KRA realises that people want convenience and choice and good value for money, but we feel that ‘big businesses’ (and Local Councils) need to be more sensitive to the impact of development on the local communities they claim to serve.

KRA requests again that Sainsbury’s actively engage in CONSULTATION with the people of Knaphill, by putting on a Public Exhibition, with models, plans and honest information, and that they also hold a Public Meeting to answer questions about the impact of their expansion plans, and that they then incorporate the views of local people into the way the plan goes forward.

Sainsbury’s have invited the KRA Committee to private meetings, but we have declined as we did not want to have any kind of ‘private conversations’ with Sainsbury’s behind closed doors. There is a wide range of opinion across the village, and across the range of KRA Members. The KRA Committee is happy to be part of the consultations that actively involve the residents, community groups and businesses of Knaphill. We believe that Sainsbury’s and Woking Borough Council need to consult local people in a public forum about changes that will affect our lives.

Please take a look at our previous article ‘Sainsbury’s Expansion Plan’ (now in Community, General & Local Issues) and also read the COMMENTS from local residents on that topic.


About Author

Andy is a business systems and operations consultant for The Business Delicatessen and has helped the KRA over several years. He is former editor of the magazine and also runs Fat Crow Design.

1 Comment

  1. If they are people living in earshot make certain you have a planning condition imposed banning deliveries between 11pm and 8am. In Leatherhead Sainsbury’s are making a thorough nuisance of themselves for the last five years putting in 5 noisy trucks between 4am and 7am and waking people up.

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