ASDA at Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum
Monday night saw a significant meeting for Stirchley, with ASDA and some Birmingham City Council officials presenting and answering questions on the proposed ASDA food store at the former Arvin Merritor site, at a meeting hosted by the neighbourhood forum at the Stirchley Community Church. I was there with a few others giving out leaflets to people on the way in, and listening to what the officials and the people had to say.
Three ASDA staff were present and gave us an overview of the plans with an initial presentation, which was followed by questions from the floor to them and the council representatives, which lasted the rest of the evening. There were dozens of questions, and the overall impression was of a divided Stirchley. A large amount of comments and questions were opposed to or had valid concerns about the development, but several comments were also positive about the development. Likewise the reaction to the presentation and questions amongst the crowd seemed to suggest a 50/50 split. I was slightly saddened to hear one of the biggest cheers of the night to a gentleman proclaiming ‘Stirchley is dead!’. Not only is that certainly not true, but it’s pretty disrespectful to the traders (many of whom were in the crowd) that are doing well and working hard for Stirchley.
Although i didn’t ask any specific questions myself, many of my concerns were raised by others, including people connected with SuperStirchley. After speaking with Cllr Tim Huxtable after the event I left with the impression that there is hope for stopping ASDA, that traffic issues will probably be a key issue to campaign on, and that it’s important to campaign for a positive future for Stirchley. I’ve started to think about alternative uses for the proposed site over on my indieeater blog, which I’d love to hear your comments on.
There’s a really short deadline (7th July) for getting in objections to the ASDA proposal so we’ll try and get something up on the site about that very soon. You can see the ASDA planning application by clicking here.
That’s all for now,