- Winchester City Council issued written planning permission on 1st December 2011
- Sainsbury’s say they hope to open their Bishops Waltham superstore in Spring 2013
- Work on the Abbey Mill site is quite likely to start in March 2012
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON?
We have just sent out an extensive email covering events over recent months – it runs to 7 pages and can be downloaded here, it covers events since May 2011.
In the email and its attachment we mention two letters – our final attempt to get the Planning Committee reconvened, and the stonewall response by WCC! These can be downloaded/read here: BWAG’s letter, WCC’s response.
The final documents
The written planning permission (called a Decision Notice) and the Section 106 agreement (the legal agreement) between them cover the contributions that Sainsbury’s will make to various funds (for example: £75,000 for town centre improvements – to be agreed with the Parish Council – and over £200,000 to improve St George’s Square). They also cover the agreement not to open a Pharmacy, Post Office, Dry Cleaning and Café, and they define the specific opening and delivery hours and makes further reference to proposed changes to the B2177 Winchester Road. Clearly, there are elements here that will require continuing vigilance – see below the Portswood situation covered below.
These two documents can be downloaded from these links:
Planning Permission: http://planningapplications.winchester.gov.uk/Planning/969672.pdf
Section 106 Agreement (over 100 pages long):
What of BWAG now?
After the written permission was granted in December, we contemplated shutting down BWAG in the near term, but developments at Sainsbury’s Portswood superstore have changed our minds. As you may know Sainsbury’s are currently building a 4,465 square metres (net retail space) superstore in central Portswood and now, while building is still continuing they have already applied for changes to the conditions! They want:
- To extend agreed opening hours of 8am-9pm Monday to Saturday to 7am-11pm instead
- To open the car park Monday to Saturday from 6.30am-midnight (half an hour before and an hour after the store would shut)
- To change current delivery time restrictions from 7am -11pm Mondays to Saturdays, to allow three deliveries to be received (or items despatched from the store) between the hours of 11pm-7am Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, instead of delivery being restricted to 8am-6pm, Sainsbury’s want to be able to make two deliveries after 6pm.
- They also want to have the restriction lifted that prevents them opening an in-store pharmacy!
It is just so brazen to agree such core conditions in order to get permission, only then to apply for major changes even before the store is built. So BWAG will stay in place to do whatever it can to stop similar attempts here. We may not now be able to stop Sainsbury’s coming, but we can do our best to stop such flagrant, barefaced behaviour.
A potted history timeline
Because a lot of time has passed, we thought at this stage it would be worth time-lining some of the important dates in a quick recap:
January – news seeps out that Sainsbury’s plan a superstore at Abbey Mill
May – Parish Council public meeting, BWAG formed
May – December, BWAG raises funds, lobbies and issues newsletters etc
12 May – Bishops Waltham Surgery announce plans to relocate to Sainsbury’s site
29 June – Sainsbury’s submit planning application to Winchester City Council (WCC)
19 July – BWAG’s first leaflet and letter mailed to local residents
27 July – Sainsbury’s supporters’ group (BWAV) formed with Sainsbury’s support
30 July – BWAG hands in 4,500 signature petition to Leader of WCC
5 August – Initial deadline for letters of representation to WCC about application
5 August – Just under 2,000 letters of objection personally sent to WCC by deadline
6 August – Deadline initially extended to allow BW Parish Council to debate and vote
12 August – BW Parish Council objects to Sainsbury’s proposals and informs WCC
Mid August – WCC indicate they will be prepared to receive additional letters
Late November – Bishops Waltham Surgery writes to all it patients asking for support for Sainsbury’s proposals and the new surgery
16 January – BWAV, sponsored by Sainsbury’s, conduct mass-mailing to gain support
19 January – BWAV and Surgery staff deliver 2,700 pro forma letters to WCC
February – Date for Planning Meeting on Sainsbury’s confirmed as 7th April
February – BWAV deliver a further 2,000+ pro forma letters to WCC from their own mailing
15 March – BWAG’s second leaflet and letter to local residents mailed
30 March – WCC planners report published recommending approval of Sainsbury’s application
7 April – WCC Planning Committee votes 5-4 (by chairman’s 2nd vote) to approve application
15 April – WCC submit their approval to Dept for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
5 May – BWAG submits arguments for calling-in application alongside a new 3,000+ petition
5 May – DCLG confirms to WCC that it will not call-in the application
13 May – BWAG’s last newsletter (No 32) sent explaining situation
24 November – Section 106 Agreement signed by Sainsbury’s and WCC
1 December – Written Planning Permission issued
We really would like to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped in this campaign. You are too numerous to mention but, in no particular order...
Thanks to everyone – 4,500 of you – who signed Pete Atkinson’s original petition.
Thanks to all of you who wrote such heartfelt letters to WCC – all 2,450 of you! Amazing!
Thanks again to everyone – 3,025 of you – who signed our last petition to Eric Pickles, an awesome number in just 12 days!
Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help, including distributing leaflets and flyers – simply invaluable.
Thanks to the many, many people who gave us donations, the campaign has cost many thousands of pounds and would have been impossible without that help. Thanks also to everyone who put money into our collection pots – it really helped.
Thanks to so many of you who contacted us with ideas, with offers of help, with news, with their recollections of the WCC Planning meeting etc.
Thanks to people, like Print It Now, who provided their services free or at cost.
Thanks to everyone who agreed to have a poster in their garden.
Thanks to everyone on the High Street who put up our posters, provided space to distribute our newsletters and persuaded people to sign the petitions.
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Parish Council meeting in the Jubilee Hall in August 2010.
Thanks to everyone who came to the Guildhall for the handing in of the first petition in July 2010
Thanks to the 400 and more who attended the planning meeting itself in April 2011
Thanks to those, like John Hayter and Peter Stevens who acted as outriders to our main campaign and constantly nagged and harassed WCC and Sainsbury’s agents whenever the opportunity arose.
Thanks for reading our newsletters and staying in touch with us.