The planning committee debated last night and have agreed to a temporary variation of opening times as per Sainsbury’s request.
Sainsburys will be able to open from 07.00am to 10.00pm Monaday to Saturday and 08.00am to 8.00pm on Sundays for 18 months starting today, even though the store is yet to be built! The Council’s legal officer felt that this was the only way the agreement could be worded, whereas the committee itself wanted a trial for 12 months from the date the store opens.
During the next 18 months, the council has said it will gain evidence of noise and traffic concerns. What this will mean in practice is unknown as once the store is built and operating it would be exceptionally hard to close down.
A few points worth mentioning
- There were no Knaphill Councillors at the meeting [although Melanie Whitehand did submit a letter prior to the debate (link to letter)]
- No Councillor suggested rejecting the request from Sainbury’s
- The Council blame Surrey Highways for lack of assistance with the original request [caution: buck passing…]
The application is due to be debated on the 18th October according to Melanie Whitehand.
Please see Phil Stubbs’ comment below for the KRA’s observations and commentary, as sent to all local councillors and the planning committee.
You may also like to browse through the Knaphillian forum topic on the subject here
The planning officers have recommended the application for a change of trading and delivery hours to be APPROVED despite a mass of objections and commentary from Melanie Whitehand.
The application is on the agenda for the forthcoming planning committee meeting on the 27th September at 7pm in the council chambers. This meeting is open to the public and anyone who registered their objection should have received a letter offering the opportunity to speak at the meeting. Anyone wishing to speak should register their intent with the council prior to the meeting.
Early in February local people became aware of Sainsbury’s plans to lease the premises to be re-developed on the site of Clifton’s, 15 High Street, Knaphill: PLAN/2011/0062 (See KRA’s earlier article and comments). There seems to be a growing momentum of opposition to this Planning Application.
Last year The Clifton family submitted a Planning Application PLAN/2010/0085 (which received planning approval) to re-develop the Clifton’s site: For the Erection of a three storey building containing A1 (retail) use at ground floor and 7 x 1 bedroom and 5 x 2 bedroom flats at first and second floors following the demolition of the existing shop and workshops at 15 High Street and 6 Fosters Lane.
Also, on the 2010 Application, on the section for the retail premises there was ‘Condition 7’ that: “The premises hereby approved shall not be open to customers and have no deliveries between the hours of 8.00 pm and 8.00 am Monday to Saturday inclusive, comply with Sunday Trading Restrictions and have no deliveries on Sundays unless agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.”
This latest 2011 Appliction proposes changes to Condition 7. Before taking up the Lease, Sainsbury’s want: “The premises shall be open to customers between the hours of 7.00 am to 11.00 pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10.00 am to 4.00 pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays”.Residents can see the detail of both Applications on the Woking Borough Council (WBC) website http://caps.woking.gov.uk/online-applications/ then key in the relevant Planning Application Number (as listed above).
People from all sections of the community are registering their Comments on the WBC site in relation to the lastest Plan/2011/0062 and most of them seem to be expressing opposition. There seems to be growing concern and calls for a Public Meeting to discuss the impact this kind of development could have on the centre of the village.
The original Application was opposed by some residents, especially those who live close to Cliftons, but many people may not have been aware of the project and for whatever reasons did not get involved in the discussion at that time. This latest Application has raised wider questions and made more people aware of the issues…….Many people are saying this strikes at the heart of the viability of many of the small businesses in Knaphill, who are already fighting for survival because of the Big Sainsbury’s Store down the road, and of the life of the Village Centre.
Objection forms are circluating in the village and are available in many local shops. They raise concerns regarding:
* Increased Traffic within the village
* Parking Problems on the High Street adjacent to the new development & surrounding streets
* Increased anti-social behaviour
* Increased noise and light pollution
* Reduced competition, as there is already a Sainsbury’s within close distance to the village
* Damage to the sustainability of existing local shops
Whatever your views, please don’t just sit back and ignore this. Check the Planning Applications, think about the implications and register your comments. Since the Application was submitted over 300 comments have been added to the WBC site and most are strong statements of OBJECTION. (KRA is checking the Comments each day…..as at 26th Feb. over 300)
Have your say!!