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Write to Tesco / Lidl

March 7, 2017


In light of the recent news, we wanted to write to Tesco and Lidl.

We aren’t against Lidl. We want to keep our gym and bowling alley.

We want Tesco to consider selling a portion of their huge expanse of land in Stirchley to Lidl (and the rest for community ownership/housing/row of independent shops/extension to Hazelwell park/giant lido/theme park/ you name it…)

In all seriousness, it takes about a couple of minutes, possibly won’t make a difference, but definitely worth a try! 

We have ready made templates here which you can edit as you see fit, feel free to copy us in :-


Matt Davies, Managing Director, Tesco Plc

Dave Lewis, CEO, Tesco Plc

Tesco House, Shire Park

Kestrel Way, Welwyn Garden City  



Dear Sirs

RE:Tesco, Stirchley, Birmingham

I understand that your company has confirmed it will no longer be building a store at the above location.

I am sure you understand the disappointment this decision will have been to many residents in that and the surrounding area not to have a better quality supermarket in their vicinity. Obviously, this must be a disappointing business decision for you after many years in the planning.

You may be aware that Lidl intend to build on a nearby site which will completely eradicate one of Birmingham’s most popular gyms and a family bowling alley and the other entertainment that provides. They are currently a huge service to the community well above the intentions of Lidl’s.

Many residents and users are seeking direct and indirect actions to vent their anger and voice at our council’s planning decision. Whilst we continue to challenge BCC and Lidl a number of residents were wondering what Tesco could do to help our community with regards to saving those facilities especially in light of your company being a well-respected business in the market and the disappointment of you not continuing with your building of the store.

I am sure your own team would be able to suggest some practical ideas and suggestions but consideration could be to sell the land to the community, to Lidl or other proposals. This would clearly be a positive and supported accolade to you and Tesco’s.

I and/or several active residents would be only to pleased to meet with your representatives should you feel it helpful to all concerned. I can be contacted on the details provided.
Yours sincerely


Christian Härtnagel Chief Executive

Lidl UK GmbH, 19 Worple Road

Wimbledon, London, SW19 4JS

Dear Sir

RE:Lidl, Stirchley, Birmingham

As you will be aware Lidl are proposing to build a store on the site of Fitness First and PSL Bowling leisure centre in Stirchley, Birmingham.  If this proposal goes ahead it will result in the loss of both Fitness First and PSL Bowling, both who provide a huge service to the community. 

It has recently been announced that Tesco have decided to pull out of their planned development in Stirchley and are now in the process of looking to sell.  The Tesco land in question has a larger footprint than your planned development on the Fitness First site and it is for this reason that the local community ask you to consider this, or a portion of this, as an alternative site for your new store, rather than demolishing a well used gym and leisure centre.  

I and/or several active residents would be only to pleased to meet with your representatives should you feel it helpful to all concerned. I can be contacted on the details provided.

Yours sincerely


Stirchley Tesco and Lidl update – what now?

March 2, 2017

Behind the scenes we have been very busy. We are currently receiving ongoing support from the Environmental Law Foundation with free legal advice on whether it is worth proceeding with a Judicial Review (JR). We know that the JR route is expensive and there are very few judgments overturned… but we think we have a good case on several fronts. What a JR, or the threat of one, can do is give the council a chance to reconsider its decision. “This may mean that the public body will be able to make the same decision again, so long as it does so in a lawful way.” –

Time is short on the JR process. We have to serve a Letter of Intent on the council informing them that we’re requesting a Judicial Review within six weeks of the final decision (9 February) and allow them 2 weeks to respond. This gets the wheels in motion.

If we do proceed to the full JR, we need to fundraise for this, which is a lot to ask the local community, we know. If you would be willing to back this campaign financially – whether that’s £1 or a considerable amount more – then please stay in touch with us either on this blog, via email on our Facebook or Twitter. If you have any ideas for fundraising, or would be able to help with a Kickstarter (or equivalent crowd funding) if it comes to it, please do say. We’re looking at a maximum of £50k in legal fees for the JR process if it comes to it… that’s £22 per signature on the 38degrees petition and less than a month’s membership at Fitness First.

The petition has reached 2,300 signatures and is growing. PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE.

We’re discussing a second protest, on a weeknight this time. We have a date pencilled in but we need to discuss with Fitness First and PSL Bowling first… placards at the ready!

Tesco has backed out of its plans to build in Stirchley, 17 years after its first commitment to build. At this stage, we don’t know how this is going to affect the SuperStirchley campaign against Birmingham City Council’s U-turn on the Lidl decision but we are eager to see the council working with locals and the site owner Tesco to have a say in what plans we’d like to see.

Tesco has said it is willing to sell the land to other supermarkets – could Lidl be swayed to move on to some of the land Tesco owns instead of demolishing local leisure and fitness facilities? We can understand the disappointment felt by residents after a long wait but we see this as a huge opportunity for Stirchley to have some real infrastructure plans put into place which don’t include being dictated by a supermarket’s huge blueprints.

Dates for your diary:

Monday 13 March – Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum meeting, 7.30pm, Stirchley Community Church

Wednesday 15 March – Stirchley the Way Forward meeting, 7.30pm, Stirchley Baths

Stirchley turns out to protest against Lidl

February 11, 2017

stirchley-anti-lidl-demo-27Around 60 residents attended a demonstration in Stirchley today as cars hooted in support to protest against Birmingham City Council’s u-turn decision to allow Lidl UK to knock down local leisure facilities and build a supermarket on the site instead.

stirchley-anti-lidl-demo-5The demo was attended by  local MP Steve McCabe (pictured, right), Labour councillors Mary Locke (pictured, left) and Karen McCarthy, Momentum South Birmingham, Friends of Stirchley Park, Friends of Cannon Hill Park, Stirchley Happenings, Stirchley Community Market, Super Stirchley, as well as local residents affected by the decision.

Many are angry that concerns – over traffic, jobs, too many supermarkets in Stirchley, other available derelict sites for development, and the loss of leisure and sports facilities – are being ignored. They are also concerned that this planning decision (and others In Birmingham) are being rubber-stamped because the council can’t afford to fight appeals from developers.

stirchley-anti-lidl-demo-33Placards and banners called for a boycott of Lidl and for local government to favour health over wealth, to listen to local residents and to stand up for Stirchley against a number of supermarkets wanting to build here. Protestors shouted: “Save our gym and bowling!” and “Lidl is a fiddle!”

stirchley-anti-lidl-demo-13Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, later tweeted: “Big turn out despite cold at Fitness First protest. Think again Lidl this is a supermarket that will never be popular.

“The council should have refused the application but Lidl are the people who can stop it now… They are demolishing our gym and bowling alley to build supermarket nobody wants. We’ll have more supermarkets per square mile than anywhere else…”

Fitness First gym, which has a thriving community of 3500 members, and PSL Bowling, a family business with many ties in the local community through school and charity groups, both want to stay on the site but are under threat of demolition.

The council was initially minded to refuse Lidl’s application but then suddenly made a u-turn In December, approving Lidl’s planning application despite hundreds of complaints and comments to the council’s planning committee and a petition, which now stands at 2,250 signatures against. The decision was formally approved this week.

Further background on this story can be found on SuperStirchley’s campaign post. We have also gathered the local response to this by local residents and councillors. And the message is clear: No Lidl here!

More photos/videos from the protest can be found below (we’ll add to this list as we go). Please feel free use and share CC images:

Decision officially approved. Thurs 9th Feb.

February 9, 2017



January 28, 2017



When: 12 noon, Sat 11 February (for 30 minutes)

Where: In the car park of the Fitness First*

What to bring: yourself, banners, a strong voice, lots of people!

Why: we want to send a strong, clear message that Lidl is not wanted if it means sacrificing popular local fitness/leisure facilities.

What you can do: share news of this protest as widely as you can and sign the petition now over 2000 signatures strong.

Join us in a protest against Birmingham City Council’s U-turn on 22 December allowing Lidl to knock down Stirchley’s only local leisure/fitness facilities: the Fitness First Gym and PSL Bowling Alley. Join us if you’re worried about Stirchley being overrun by supermarkets. Join us if you’re tired of Tesco’s wasteland and empty promises. Join us if you think Birmingham City Council planning committee has let Stirchley down and not properly considered the impact on jobs, traffic, fitness, leisure, independent shops and community culture – or the many comments and complaints of local people.

In short, join us if you want to Stand Up For Stirchley. Come and make some noise!

*please be mindful of traffic – safety first!


Discussion about Lidl planning decision in Stirchley on BBC WM 04/01/2017

January 4, 2017

Discussion about Birmingham City Council’s planning decision on the Lidl development in Stirchley, broadcast on BBC WM on 4th January 2017 currently available to listen to on BBC iPlayer.

Stirchley responds to the decision

January 2, 2017

We’ve started collecting the recent comment and actions by Stirchley residents, councillors, media and other stakeholders around Birmingham Council’s U-turn to allow Lidl to knock down a local gym and bowling alley. On Twitter, if you post #stirchley in your Tweets, we’ll continue to pick them up. We’re unable to collect Facebook group discussions at this time.

Contents: 1. Planning links. 2. Petitions. 3. Background. 4. Councillor actions. 5-10. Key issues. 11. Media.