Sainsbury’s Expansion Plan

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Wednesday 4th August – Submit your comments to Woking Borough Council.If you wish to make comments on the Sainsbury’s Extension Plan (PLAN/2010/0600)
we suggest you submit them direct to the Case Officer, James Hutchison by email:
james.hutchison@woking.gov.uk

Several KRA members have reported to us that the facility to ‘Submit Comments’ via the Plan on the Woking Borough Council (WBC) website is ‘not working’, ‘not letting me add a comment’. The difficulty in using this facility has been acknowledged by WBC’s IT Department and it is apparently going to be updated over the coming months. But until the access is made simpler and easier, this is yet another flaw in WBC’s ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ (SCI). How will the Council know what local people’s views are on Planning Applications if we cannot easily submit them.

Recently Knaphill residents who live close to the Sainsbury’s Store received a letter from Sainsbury’s advising them that a Planning Application to extend the Brookwood (Knaphill) Store was to be submitted to Woking Borough Council. That application has now been made and details of the proposals posted on the Council’s website.
http://caps.woking.gov.uk/publicaccess/tdc/DcApplication/application_searchresults.aspx

Then you need to key in the Application Reference : PLAN/2010/0600

There is growing concern in the village about how an application for a development of this size and nature can be submitted without Sainsbury’s giving the local community an opportunity to properly understand or be adequately consulted. The KRA feels that there needs to be far greater openness, a full process of consultation with the people of Knaphill and clearer community involvement in the planning process.

Questions are being raised on matters like:
How large will the extended store be?  What types of goods will the extended store sell? What will happen to Knaphill Village if Sainsbury’s grows even bigger? What about the extra cars and traffic?

Now that fuller details of the development are emerging, a number of more specific issues are also starting to raise concern:

Noise – the application will generate more cars, more lorries and more service yard activity and a new area of car parking is proposed immediately adjacent to existing houses in Hampton Close. However, Sainsbury’s have not produced a report which assesses the noise impact on neighbouring residents.

Retail Impact – it would appear that Woking Borough Council has not asked Sainsbury’s to submit a full “retail impact assessment” that would demonstrate how this development could affect existing businesses within the village and adjoining areas.

Loss of Trees – the application appears to involve the felling of a large number of established trees within the existing car park.

Traffic – the application appears to suggest that the additional traffic generated by the store will result in traffic problems on the A322 and that a road widening scheme is required to deal with this.

How can an application for a development of this size and nature be submitted without Sainsbury’s giving the local community of Knaphill an opportunity to properly understand or be adequately consulted.

To live up to its ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ KRA feels that Woking Borough Council should arrange for The Vyne Community Centre in Knaphill to be available at convenient times during the next few weeks and invite Sainsburys to put a full  display, exhibition, with models, plans and detailed information about the Sainsbury’s expansion;  followed by a full period of consultation and discussion and a Public Meeting where all points of view can be expressed.

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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.

8 Comments

  1. I agree with the sentiments of the KRA. Sainsbury’s should be more open with the Knaphill Residents, out of basic courtesy. Full investigation should be made and results made transparent for all.

  2. We have a fantastic village. I hope KRA can convince WBC and Sainsbury’s that an open consultation and discussion with local residents is of value to everyone involved.

  3. Mrs H Cutter on

    I wholeheartedly agree with all the comments. There needs to be more openess from Sainsburys about their intentions. Knaphill residents need to be informed about their village.

  4. stuart embleton on

    I live on the bagshot road and obviously feel the impact of huge lorries thundering past.stores the size of Sainsburys brookwood should be located on retail parks with good access.The bagshot road is a small road never designed for this weight of traffic, adding more to it by expansion is not fair on the local community.
    Sainsburys are only interested in profit they have no interest in community.

  5. I agree Stuart, it’s a small community and will only cause more problems for local residents and local shops.

    Does anyone actually want the expansion?

  6. Diana Gilbert on

    I see no reason why Sainsbury’s should be allowed to extend this store any further. In their early days they had a really useful ‘stay and play’ creche facility which they could have easily taken on to operate directly when the external group that ran it went out of business – the space was already set up as a creche and had local staff in situ, but instead they ripped it out and put Tu’s clothing there instead.

    Then a few months ago when they reorganised their store they made this same retail space available to an external company running education courses. Do we really need to have this facility sited in our local supermarket at all, and especially when there are several vacant retail premises within the village?

    My view is that, even without taking into consideration all of the very valid concerns regarding the traffic, noise and other local issues, they should simply be refused on the grounds that they already HAVE more retail space within the store.

    That they have chosen to rent it out to someone else instead of making use of it themselves is not a valid justification for building an extended store.

  7. Supermarkets will always try to justify such expansion as it will create “new jobs”, but they never admit that such new jobs will always be at the expense of other local retail outlets.

    Say no to Sainsburys expansion!

  8. The manner in which Sainsbury’s have made this application is disgraceful.

    This application has clearly been submitted without any consultation with the local community. Whilst I did receive a letter advising me that a planning application was to be submitted, WBC’s website actually shows that the application had already been submitted!

    The letter is also totally disingenuous and does not provide any “real” information about the true scope of the extension proposals. It does not, for example, identify that:

    (i) the application seeks an additional 2,942sq.m. of gross floor space. (To put this in perspective, a non-residential development of 1000sq.m is, in planning terms, considered to be a ‘major’ application);

    (ii) the additional sales floor area (2,110sq.m.) would result in a 46% increase to the existing sales area of the existing store;

    (iii) a totally new aesthetic treatment of the principal shop frontages is proposed – there is nothing left of the existing building elevations – we are being offered a pale grey “box”;

    (iv) a major revision to the landscaping of the existing car park is proposed – this includes removing a very large number of established trees;

    (v) that the size of the coffee shop is to be expanded (not simply a “relocation”);

    (vi) that the new car parking area is required to accommodate 105 cars (around 16% of the existing car parking provision at the site) – this new area of car parking is immediately adjacent to existing houses in Hampton Close;

    (vii) that the development is to include a new “on-line grocery” facility – which will inevitably mean more delivery vehicles, not taken account of in their Transport Assessment; and

    (viii) that future traffic generation will result in capacity problems on the Bagshot Road giving the need for a road widening scheme!

    I suspect that many local residents will be very unaware of the above. Well, of course they would be – without any public consultation and a letter from Sainsbury’s that doesn’t actually tell them anything, they would be – wouldn’t they!

    It is also entirely unacceptable that an application of this scale can be submitted without technical reports addressing the noise impact of the development on neighbouring residents; what effect the increased traffic will have on air quality or indeed a full retail impact assessment to address the impact on existing businesses in the area.

    As I say, disgraceful.

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