23-Jan-2011 Dorking is now faced with three new supermarkets, plus one massive enlargement to an existing one (Waitrose). The three new supermarkets, which have yet to have planning applications submitted but soon will are:
An exhibition detailing plans for the Morrisons store will be held at Dorking Halls on Friday, January 28 from 3pm-6pm, and Saturday, January 29 from 10.30am-3.30pm, with further consultations to follow over the coming weeks.
Waitrose are to have a public exhibition on Friday 4 February 10am - 8pm and Saturday 5 February 10am - 4pm regarding their proposals at 1 Junction Road.
Mole Valley District Council are to have an on-line consultation about the different options for that town starting on February 11th. This can be done on their planning portal (which is not easy to use) at http://molevalley-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal. You should get a leaflet soon describing this if you live in Dorking.
You can also e-mail the council at email@example.com or send your written comments to Planning Policy Team, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ
The Tesco application for a new supermarket in Ashtead has been given the go-ahead following the public enquiry. Following a 10-day public hearing planning inspector Nicholas Hammans decided to pass the second, smaller, plan on appeal.
Dorking SOS's Rob Sedgwick spoke at the Public Enquiry into the two supermarket applications by Tesco in Ashtead. Rob specifically spoke about the 2007 report by Roger Tym & Partners and its implications for Ashtead. You can read Rob's submission here.
The public enquiry for the two rejected supermarket applications in Ashtead is to take place in Dorking at Pipbrook. It is on July 20th and lasts 10 working days. All support will be gratefully received.
Sainbury's have come forward and said they would like to build a new store in the town in addition to their existing shop. They would like to build on either the site on Curtis Road or the one at the back of St Martin's Walk which they tried to develop on three years ago.
MVDC have published plans for Dorking Town centre in a document called the Dorking Town Area Action Plan. The plans detail the additional supermarket provision already proposed in the Curtis Road area, plus plans for a new shopping area behind St Martins Walk. The consultation period ends on Wednesday 31st March 2010. The plans can be seen at www.molevalley.gov.uk/ldf (go to the consultation portal) and comments can be either made online or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tesco have had a second application to build a store in Ashtead refused at a MVDC planning meeting. Mole Valley Council's development control committee members narrowly decided to refuse Tesco’s application to build a store in The Street, despite officers’ recommendation for approval.
The application was refused by eight votes to seven. The key factor was public opinion with 6500 people signing a petition opposing the store.
Both Ashtead and Dorking have been controversially identified in the council's Local Development Framework as requiring additional supermarket space.
To find out more go to Save Ashtead.
We have been advised by Dorking Town Manager Sandra Grant that the Dorking Farmers Market will be trading along South Street from 9 am to 2pm on Tuesday 8th December: "the Farmers Market agreed to take part in a trial to access the viability of holding a market in the centre of Dorking and will set up and trade along the parking bay area of South Street. Car parking from the Pump Corner area to Waitrose will be suspended for the duration. Nineteen stalls applied for and received from Mole Valley District Council a Street Trading licence to trade on Tuesday 8th and will offer a wide selection of fresh local produce including cheeses, meats, fish, eggs, sausages, vegetables, ginger wine, bread and cakes alongside chutneys, plants, and crafts".
The deadline to object to the Ashtead supermarket plans is Sunday 31st January. To find out more and to sign a petition go to Save Ashtead.
Mole Valley District Council have initiated plans to build a new supermarket in the Curtis Road area of Dorking, which is outside the main shopping area of the town.
Part of the site is owned by the council, the remainder by several other companies. The council are proposing to enter into a Joint Venture Agreement with the other owners of the combined site to ensure that, if the site is sold, it is sold as a whole.
The site for the proposal includes the Allams car dealership, Parsonage Mill, including Attlee's Country Store, and the Old Water Yard, as well as the Council's depot. The site is not suitable for housing development as part of it is contaminated and situated in a flood plain.
The council say the plans are for "a medium sized foodstore and associated car park".
Plans for the site can be see Here.
The council are to debate the Joint Venture Agreement at a meeting of the council executive on 15th December. Comments on this issue can be submitted to the Council via the following email address: LDF@molevalley.gov.uk.
Tesco's have submitted a second plan for a a large supermarket in Ashtead village. The supermarket giant have submitted a revised plan to build a 1,499 square metre store with nine flats above it in The Street. This is 30 per cent smaller than the supermarket's previous proposal, which was refused by Mole Valley District Council in March.
Gillian Russell is a spokesperson for the S.A.V.E. campaign group in Ashtead. 01372 270610 / 07802 472032.
The Malthouse closed its doors forever on Friday night (September 12) after a farewell party with staff and regulars to celebrate more than two decades in the town.
The venue is to be demolished to make way for 37 flats under plans lodged with Mole Valley District Council by landowners Thornfield in July.
The site has been part of the proposed location for a superstore behind St Martin's Walk.
Land owned by Sainsbury's store in Dorking has been flagged up in the Competition Commission's groceries inquiry final report as one of the 90 specific controlled land sites that act as a barrier to entry in a highly concentrated local market.
It can be found in appendix 7.3 of the Report
The commission are claiming that Sainsbury's are hanging onto the land to prevent a competitor developing on the site, and may order the supermarket chain to release the land. As Sainsbury's has actually tried to develop the land for a supermarket to replace their existing one it would not seem that the Competition Commission are entirely accurate.
The report says: "The competitors which Sainsbury’s says are in the relevant market are not present according to our calculations. This store faces one competitor-a Waitrose store to the south-within 10 minutes. [??] This duopoly position gives Sainsbury's a strong local position that is worth protecting."
The council have lost their case to evict Dorking FC from their ground adjacent to the site of the former supermarket proposal. A judge at Staines County Court ruled that a long term lease must be granted to the Chicks, whose ground at one time was rumoured to be involved the proposed supermarket development.
Following the response to its initial consultation Mole Valley District Council intends to publish its "Core Strategy: Revised Preferred Options" on the 6th of May for a 6 week consultation period ending on the 20th of June. This document will outline how the Council is proposing to plan for housing, the town centres, climate change and open spaces alongside many other issues.
The Planning Policy Team are having 'drop-in' sessions where members of the team will be on hand to discuss the contents of the document. There will also be a small exhibition and all the background document will be available to view. We will be at the following locations:
Mole Valley District Council are currently carrying out their Local Development Framework Consultation. This is a very important but little publicised consultation of the population to set council policies for the next few years.
Part of the consultation is to determine a strategy for future retail policies in the region, such as where new shops can be built, and what type of shops they should be. This draws upon a very biased Retail Study report by independent consultants Roger Tym and Partners which concluded that Dorking and Ashtead needed additional supermarket provision.
The consultation can be viewed at http://molevalley-consult.limehouse.co.uk. Roger Tym's report can also be accessed on this site.
Responses to the consultation must be received by Friday February 29Th. Responses should be sent to email@example.com. The Planning Policy Team can also be contacted on 01306 879281.
The Dorking SOS response can be found here.
The Retail Study report by Roger Tym and Partners for Mole Valley District Council has been published on the Mole Valley District Council web site. Like the Competition Commission's report, Roger Tym's has only really looked at large supermarkets and it is based upon the fallacy that money spent in supermarkets is retained within the local economy (when in fact 90% of all money spent in supermarkets leaves the local economy). The needs of smaller shops, the lifeblood of towns like Dorking, barely merit a mention. The report basically concludes that Dorking requires a large superstore of approximately the size of the one rejected earlier this year .
This report is especially worrying as it is likely to be incorporated into the Mole Valley LDF, which is the basis of future planning decisions. We believe that the whole underlying methodology used to produce the figures contained in the report and from which it draws its conclusions is deeply flawed.
Mole Valley District Council have attempted to repossess the town's football club (The Chicks), whose ground is owned by the council and is adjacent to the site of the former supermarket proposal. The council maintain that they still intend to use the site for football. The court case to evict the club has been adjourned this week. More.
Dorking SOS will be publishing more details on the report when it becomes available by Roger Tym and Partners on retail in Mole Valley. We can reveal at the moment that the report concludes that Dorking requires increased supermarket provision. We will also be publishing our response to the report.
06-Nov-2007 Part of the site which was to be used for the proposed superstore near St Martins Walk is to be used instead for flats. More
Roger Tym and Partners who carried out a study of the District's town, district, local and village centres to help inform the preparation of the Local Development Framework and to provide evidence to support the work of the Council's Economic Development Unit are presenting their findings and recommendations at 7pm on October 31st in the Council Chamber. Dorking SOS will be attending this event.
We can provided more details on the agreement between Mole Valley and Thornfield to consider options for the development of land behind St Martin's Walk. See Agenda (p.89)
The agreement gives them up to 12 months to develop proposals that ensure "the best possible outcome for Dorking".
Under the terms of the agreement both parties will not develop independently. The "site" consists of the St Martins Walk car park, the Malthouse pub and the Church Gardens flats (see map on page 90). This is more or less the original site for the Sainsbury's development.
Darren Mepham, the Chief Executive, has assured us that there will not be a large supermarket on this site, but other retail options are being considered. The results of the retail study which Mole Valley is currently conducting will assist the council in deciding how best to develop the site.
Dorking SOS have made their submission to the consultants Roger Tym who are conducting the Mole Valley Town, District, Local & Village Centres Study commissioned by Mole Valley District Council. Read Submission.
21-Apr-2007 Consultants will be paid nearly £40,000 to carry out a survey about the shopping centres in Mole Valley. Dorking SOS have been invited to take part in the study and will be making a written submission to the consultants, which will be published on the web site. Full Story from the Dorking Advertiser.
19-Apr-2007 Mole Valley District Council and the property developer Thornfield have signed a new agreement for the site that had been earmarked for a new Sainsbury's superstore. The two parties have agreed not to build on the land or sell it for 12 months until a new purpose is found for the site. Full Story from Surrey Advertiser.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCMENT (16-Mar-2007)
Mole Valley District Council has issued the following statement with respect to the proposed Sainsbury's supermarket development in Dorking.
Mole Valley District Council has been in discussion with the property developer Thornfield on proposals for a mixed supermarket and housing development on land behind St Martin's Church in Dorking. The Council asked Thornfield to look at the traffic implications around the Mill Lane/High Street junction. This was to address concerns over the possible impact of traffic levels in the town and the safety of a junction at Mill Lane.
Dorking SOS cautiously welcomes this development, which we hope will kill off the proposals for good. However, we recognise that the developer Thornfield is likely to reconsider their plans and could choose to resubmit an amended set of proposals in the near future.
Dorking SOS will therefore continue to remain active but our campaign against the superstore may be scaled down. However, should any plans resurface our campaign to oppose the superstore will once again be given our full attention.
03-Mar-2007 The developer Thornfield are yet to overcome conditions set by Surrey County Council's Highway Department which any development must meet. The Dorking Advertiser has revealed that the lack of progress in talks between the two parties may cause plans for the superstore to be scrapped, although the developer is still hopeful that the impasse can be overcome. Full Story.
30-Nov-2006 Dorking SOS members attended the meeting of the SCC Mole Valley Local Committee meeting on 22nd Nov. The officers are currently investigating the feasibility of changes to the junction between the High Street and Mill Lane (thought to be an additional set of traffic lights) in order to accommodate the proposed superstore.
Since they were unprepared for our questions, the committee did not have a clear answer at the ready, but attempted to name a route by which we could raise concerns.
Our members will continue to press SCC and the Highways Department for more information regarding this critical process, a successful outcome from which (under the terms of the agreement between MVDC and the developer Thornfield) is a necessary pre-condition for a planning application to be submitted.
10-Nov-2006 Leader of the Council Tim Hall has revealed in a full meeting of the council on Sep 30 that council officials are meeting regularly with developers Thornfield and that a Project Manager has already been assigned to the supermarket development scheme even though no planning permission has yet been received.
Tim Hall told the meeting: "The Leader of the Council and Councillor Tatham met a senior manager from Thornfield on 06/09/06 to receive an update on the implementation of the agreement [to sell the council's property to Thornfield]. No further meetings are planned.
"Other staff have met Thornfield as required to discuss specialist aspects of the development agreement. In addition, the Council's Project Manger has had periodic progress meetings with Thornfield since the agreement was signed and these will continue."
Tim Hall also claims (again) that the council is endeavouring to maintain a distinction between the agreement to sell the land, and the need for a separate part of the council (planning) to sanction that agreement by granting permission to the development.
"The council has been scrupulous in keeping its two roles as landowner and planning authority completely separate and it intends to continue doing so. By doing this, the residents of Dorking can be completely assured that the council is impartial when it comes to considering Thornfield's planning application," claimed Councillor Hall.
22-Oct-2006 Dorking SOS have obtained a letter from Surrey Police which shows Church Gardens residents have been having a problem with antisocial behaviour from youths in the neighbouring car park, and have complained to the police about it.
The police have compiled a report which states what changes the council need to make to their car park (which adjoins the flats, which they also own) to reduce the likelihood of crimes taking place.
In the letter the council have then responded to the police's suggestions by turning them down on the grounds that in the council there is "reluctance to spend any money towards any crime reduction initiatives with developments plans afoot". This doubtless refers to the proposed Sainsbury's superstore on this site. As no planning proposal has yet been submitted, nor is likely to be for some time, the council once again seem to be giving the impression of a "done deal". Notwithstanding the fact that a planning application is unlikely to be made for several months, then there will be a consultation period and a planning hearing before any permission could granted, all of which is likely to take a year or two from now at the very least. In the meantime the council as landlords are once again guilty of dereliction of duty towards their tenants, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable.
In the summer Dorking SOS revealed the fact that the council had denied Church Gardens residents the Right to Buy by issuing a demolition order on their flats. Leaked minutes of the Policy Committee Meeting on 13th June, which were published in the Dorking Advertiser, showed that the council's sole motivation for doing this was to save the developer's money and increase their own profits from the sale of the flats.
It looks like the council are once again willing to forsake their own elderly tenants to make life easy for a private company with whom no deal has officially been struck
11-Oct-2006 Independent shopkeepers say their customer numbers are plummeting less than four weeks after Tesco Express opened in Ashtead. The traders are rallying together to save their businesses after the arrival of a new supermarket on a village shopping parade. Full Story.
17-Sep-2006 Sainsbury's are set to build one of the largest stores in the UK in Ewell. The retail giant is set to take over neighbouring Wickes in Kiln Lane, Ewell, after making the DIY store an offer it could not refuse. Epsom and Ewell council recently turned down planning permission for a superstore within the town centre, which had been earmarked by the developer Helical Bar for rival supermarkets Tesco or Asda. Full Story.
23-Jul-2006 The council have denied their tenants in Church Gardens the Right to Buy in order to increase the potential profits of the developer. More.
07-Jul-2006 Our next meeting has been moved forward a day to Wed 19th July at 8pm. The meeting will still be at Dorking Christian Centre. Please Register for the agenda and other details.
18-Jun-2006 Dorking SOS will be holding their next meeting on Tue 18th July at 8pm. The meeting will be at Dorking Christian Centre. Please Register for the agenda and other details.
07-Jun-2006 MVDC has published its preferred options for the Core Strategy of its Local Development Framework for public consultation for a statutory six-week period between 19th May and 30th June 2006.
The Core Strategy will set out the key elements of the planning framework for Mole Valley over the next twenty years. It will comprise a vision and strategic objectives for the area, strategic planning policies that will apply to the whole of Mole Valley, and a monitoring and implementation framework.
Although not directly connected with the current planning application, the council's policies for the next few years clearly may influence future planning decisions for supermarkets and other major developments in the Town centre.
25-May-2006 Planning permission for a large superstore in the neighbouring borough of Epsom has been turned down by the local council. Epsom and Ewell Borough Council's planning committee ruled against a new superstore in the Upper High Street. The main reasons were extra traffic and the effect on the local economy. Report
21-May-2006 The agreement has been signed by the MVDC Resources to Department to allow Thornfield the rights to acquire council property provided the council grant planning permission for the development within nine months.
21-May-2006 Dorking SOS will be holding their next meeting on Thu 15th June at 8pm. The meeting will be at Dorking Christian Centre. Please Register for the agenda and other details.
14-May-2006 Dorking SOS will be holding their next meeting on Thu 18th at 8pm. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details or Register.
24-Apr-2006 Dorking SOS held their fourth meeting open to all people who had expressed an interest in the campaign - the largest attendance so far. In the meeting we continued to discuss the details of our plans including working towards a public meeting. Please Register if you wish to attend or find out the details of our next meeting.
31-Mar-2006 Dorking SOS was featured on Mercury FM.
26-Mar-2006 Dorking SOS will be holding their next meeting on Fri 21st at 8pm. Please e-mail email@example.com for details or Register.
25-Mar-2006 Dorking SOS's request under the Freedom of Information Act for more information about Thornfield's negotiations with MVDC has worryingly and disgracefully been turned down. Report
24-Mar-2006 Dorking SOS held their third meeting open to all people who had expressed an interest in the campaign - the largest attendance so far. In the meeting we continued to discuss the details of our plans including the poster campaign. Please Register if you wish to attend or find out the details of our next meeting.
15-Mar-2006 Dorking SOS will be holding their next meeting on Fri 24th at 8pm. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details or Register.
09-Mar-2006 As we revealed last week, a report on the sale of land by MVDC to Thornfield was in the Dorking Advertiser. Report
03-Mar-2006 It has come to our attention that the sale of land by MVDC to Thornfield for the purposes of the development has been agreed. The Dorking Advertiser next week will contain a report on this move by the council.
28-Feb-2006 Dorking SOS held their second meeting open to all people who had expressed an interest in the campaign. In the meeting we began to plan the details of our campaign over the course of the next few months, the first steps of which will be taken shortly. We aim to hold another meeting around March 24th. Please Register if you wish to attend or find out the details of our next meeting.
22-Feb-2006 Dorking SOS will be holding their next meeting on Fri 24th at 8pm. Please e-mail email@example.com for details.
28-Jan-2006 Dorking SOS held their first meeting open to all people who had expressed an interest in the campaign. In the meeting we discussed our collective aims and visions for how we would like Dorking to evolve. We aim to hold another meeting and continue this process, as well as planning our campaign, in around a month's time. Please Register if you wish to attend or find out the details of our next meeting.
08-Dec-2005 Local traders hit out at the plans in the Dorking Advertiser.
24-Nov-2005 Dorking SOS is featured in the Dorking Advertiser.
10-Nov-2005 Dorking Preservation Society have their concerns about the construction period featured in the Dorking Advertiser.
Mail: Dorking SOS, PO Box 415, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2WF.