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Letter templates

April 22, 2017

Please see below for letters we have sent which we urge you to adapt and personalise.

The more letters, the greater the impact.

DON’T fall into the trap that someone else has done it, we are the affected users and we should not let others dictate to our detriment, so send them your thoughts as soon as you can to support those who have been active for our cause.

The bullet points link to actual letters that we have sent out.

We have copied and pasted the info below and edited from the originals, as they were personal from our campaigners. We urge you to add your own reasons / delete as appropriate. Please ensure your letter is personal to you and shares your own opinions and story.

-Team SuperStirchley.


Ian’s letters (please read, rewrite and adapt)

Points you could include in your own letters:

  • There will be the displacement of 3500+ gym members
  • A loss of 60+ staff jobs across both sites
  • Loss of facilities for several local schools, university societies, community groups/charities who use the bowling alley such as: Hall Green Secondary School, Hall Green Primary, Fox Hollies School (special school & college), Uffculme (special school), Cotteridge Primary, Stirchley School, Selly Park Girls Tech College, St Dunstans, Raddlebarn School, Kings Heath Boys, St. Paul’s Girls School, University of Birmingham / University societies.
  • The loss of fitness facilities make it more difficult for many to be motivated in maintaining their health
  • The site has had leisure facilities on it for decades. It has formed a valued part of community life in South Birmingham.
  • The site has been used for leisure purposes since it was built in 1931.
  • The loss of the facilities will be of detrimental impact to our health services
  • The decision to approve Lidl in favour of a gym/bowls is a contradiction on government efforts to promote healthy and active lifestyles
  • A huge community has developed over 15 years at Fitness First #StirchleyStrong. The venue promotes wellbeing and health, and acts as a meeting place
  • The asset furthers the social wellbeing and social interests of the local community
  • Planners ignored the use of the facilities by disabled users who will not have the support elsewhere
  • There are classes at Fitness First which are open to non-members, giving an affordable opportunity for exercise groups in Stirchley
  • There are countless nutritionists, physiotherapists, personal trainers and coaches who rely on Fitness First for their business
  • There is little else in the area for fitness and recreation facilities
  • These opportunities for health and fitness are much-needed in Stirchley and without Fitness First / this site, Stirchley has a gaping hole for access to fitness and exercise 7 days a week.
  • and many other reasons…

Birmingham City Council, Chief Executive’s Office, Birmingham City Council, Council House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BB

Regarding planning decision 2016/00664/PA

Dear Stella Manzie, interim leader of BCC,

I’m a resident who has signed SuperStirchley’s petition:
I’m a Fitness First member / PSL Bowling user and I have been for X years X months. 
I am devastated by the loss of the both facilities Fitness First and PSL Bowling in Stirchley. For me personally…..
<insert statement about what the facilities mean to you / have enabled you to do – such as rehabilitation from operation, encourage you to be more social, aid weight-loss, meet new friends, increase your confidence / other relevant info.>
<insert points which resonate with you from list above>
I request that you begin an inquiry into the planning decision granted on 22nd December (reference above). I would also suggest an investigation into the ineffective planning system which has enabled Lidl to buy this land regardless of having planning permission or not.
I think it is important to invoke the disciplinary process for those committee members who agreed the planning decision without doing their due diligence.
Stirchley needs your support. We need to rehome or replace the amenities we are losing – PSL Bowling and Fitness First Gym.
Furthermore, I would like assurances that you will listen to residents objections in the future, and protect any facilities of community importance.
Resident address (important)

Letter to Fitness First Managing Director.

Martin Seibold,

Fitness First Clubs Ltd, 58 Fleets Lane, Poole, Dorset, BH15 3BT

Fitness First – Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2YB

Dear Martin

I understand that the gym is to close end May 2017 with the loss of jobs and an active and thriving gym membership who have built up a community over the last 17 years or so.

Several rumours exist as to your handling of Lidl’s takeover, land owners selling the land and your genuine intentions during this process.

It would assist our community if you could provide some honest and straightforward answers to the following:

  • When did you know about the land being sold?
  • You have failed to offer any help or support in keeping the gym open – why not?
  • Were you given compensation for leaving the site?
  • Why have you not liaised with PSL Bowling, or taken into consideration the impact on their business too?
  • Will you consider relocation elsewhere in Stirchley?
  • If you are not retaining the gym in Stirchley would you donate all the equipment (not on loan/hire) and any useful fixtures/fittings that would allow us the opportunity of setting up our community facility?

Many of us feel your treatment and lack of respect for the thousands of loyal members has been disappointing.

Yours sincerely….

Letter to Lidl –

Lidl CEO: Christian Härtnagel

Lidl Customer Services: /

CEO Christian Härtnagel, Lidl UK GmbH, 19 Worple Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4JS

Fitness First/Bowling Alley, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2YB

Dear Christian Härtnagel

I am a local Stirchley resident and Fitness First member / PSL Bowling user.

Because of your company’s actions buying up land to demolish two of our facilities, 3500+ gym members and 60+ members of staff are going to be displaced.

Both facilities above are well-used and much-loved, and as such, it is not the case where you have bought land with assets which have been hardly used, in decline or derelict. You appear to have shown no regard or appreciation to the community in which you hope to be selling to in the future.

The loss of these facilities has outraged many in the community as you should be fully aware of by the protests, objections and recent planning application being quashed due to the community’s perseverance. Please see petition with 2500 signatures of which I am one of the signatories:

These facilities are important to so many and as such you should be able to understand the community unrest, frustration and anger.

I am not aware of any community consultation having been considered before you undertook your actions.

We as a community would have been, and still would be, supportive of your aims if you could consider the Tesco’s site or even other ones nearby which we understand are still available. Such an action and consideration for us as a community would be welcomed. The cost to you is likely to be insignificant compared to the damage caused to both parties.

Furthermore, we understand you have negotiated a deal with Fitness First and would appreciate you informing us of those negotiations. We want to know why you have ignored PSL Bowling in these negotiations?

I can only hope that you may not have been fully aware of the strength of feeling towards our current facilities and that you work with us to replace them.

Yours sincerely,




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