Sainsbury’s Expansion Plan

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.