Around 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.
The 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.
Placards 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!”
Steve 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:
STIRCHLEY LIDL PROTEST!
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 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.
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.
SuperStirchley: Campaign against Birmingham City Council’s U-turn decision for a Lidl on Pershore Road
Concerned residents have reactivated this blog and the twitter @SuperStirchley to rally together, share campaign news & discuss the Birmingham City Council (BCC) U-turn on Fitness First Stirchley/PSLBowling Lidl decision.
For info (more below) SuperStirchley was set up in 2011 by residents who came together in retaliation to Asda/Tesco planning applications.
SuperStirchley is back for 2017: this time opposing Lidl.
Thousands of residents object to Lidl building on the proposed site – we are angry that Birmingham City Council have approved this application in a U-turn decision. The approval means we risk losing our only gym and bowls for miles. Many residents aren’t anti-Lidl, and welcome more choice in shopping in Stirchley elsewhere.
About the Lidl campaign
Lidl’s first and second applications to build a store in Stirchley on the Pershore Road site – currently occupied by Fitness First Stirchley and PSL Bowling – were rejected by Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee on both occasions in 2016.
Lidl appealed the second rejected application (dated 8th December) and on 22nd December, BCC made a U-turn and the Lidl proposal.
The decision has left the whole community, including its local councillors (across several political parties), shocked and disappointed.
We will be campaigning against this decision in support of Fitness First Stirchley and PSL Bowling.
We feel that this site is the wrong location for the Lidl store for the following reasons:
- Loss of PSL Bowling – a family run, independent business that supports local economy. Nearest alternative approximately 4 miles away
- Loss of Fitness First Stirchley – a popular fitness gym with over 3800 members amidst reports of a growing obesity crisis costing Birmingham over £2 billion every year
- Loss of jobs – 62+ people are set to lose their jobs across the 2 sites with Lidl only committing to 20 full time staff
- Further traffic disruption – concerns over increased volume of traffic on an already highly congested route and impact on residents parking
- Alternative Stirchley sites available – derelict site owned by Tesco, proposed new Aldi store on Magnet site, old KwikSave site
- There are already enough supermarkets – 19 supermarkets in a 3 mile radius
We are campaigning for Birmingham City Council to reconsider its decision and will be posting news about this on this blog and over on our twitter @SuperStirchley.
In the mean time, you can sign the online petition: STAND UP FOR STIRCHLEY PETITION
We encourage you to comment on the petition with your views.
We are also collecting views on twitter via Storify which you can read here: STORIFY LINK.
If you tag your tweet with ‘Stirchley’ we are able to pick it up easily and add to the Storify.
In other news:
Aldi planning application:
Supermarket Aldi has also put in a planning application at the other end of Stirchley on the Magnet site. You can read more about this here: Details Page for Planning Application – 2016/10105/PA The deadline for resident comments is 12th January. Do have your say.
Next Neighbourhood Forum:
Monday 12th January 7.30pm Stirchley Community Church. Their guest for the evening is a representative from TESCO. Ask them your questions: such as, Why did you not oppose the Lidl planning application?
Stirchley Library Services:
There are proposals to move Stirchley Library Services into newly refurbished Stirchley Baths. This could leave another void on Stirchley High Street, and we don’t know how Stirchley Baths will accommodate the services. Have your say: Library Services Consultation
In 2011 SuperStirchley was set up by residents of Stirchley and surrounding areas to campaign to keep Stirchley independent, and promote everything that’s good about Stirchley. Stirchley was threatened by two supermarket developments back then, TESCO & Asda:
- TESCO has been on the cards for nearly 15 years. The supermarket were approved planning permission to build a store on/around Hazelwell Lane – and since SuperStirchley deactivated in 2012, all the buildings from Co-op funeral shop to Webbs Power Tools, including the Stirchley Community Centre, Busy B’s café and rows of houses, have all been demolished to make way for TESCO that few think will ever arrive. Stirchley is now left with wasteland, they haven’t started on any building work: only demolition.
- In 2011 ASDA put in proposals to build on industrial land at Fordhouse Lane, just 400m from the proposed TESCO store. SuperStirchley campaigned against the ASDA proposal and this got rejected in 2012. Planning permission for a new housing development on the site was approved in 2015.
Many of you will know that about a couple of months ago the council
announced they had refused planning permission for Asda to build their
supermarket in Stirchley. This was a huge victory for us and a benefit
for the highstreet of Stirchley
However, as expected Asda have appealed this decision and are
awaiting a final decision from the council. So it is still up to us to
keep up the pressure and stop Asda from ruining a new thriving
Please send your comments to the birmingham city council planning
department online at www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs (note this is not
the usual BCC site). the planning reference number is 2011/03485/PA.
You can mention the usual issues. but on top of that is that it is
certain that Tesco is coming, so these issues will be even more
damaging. The issues to mention are:
There are many shops right next to the proposed development that will
loose out and whose business could be at risk.
These shops sell things that Asda will sell and may find difficult to
compete with the large superstore: these are a Greengrocers, a
chemist, an offlicence, and a newsagents. Furthermore, with an already
existing supertore and the approval of a second one (Tesco), building
a third one in such a small area is both unnecessary and detrimental.
Traffic is still a serious issue. There is concern over how difficult
it will be for residents on the roads on the other side of Fordhouse
lane opposite the new main entrance (Beilby rd, Oakley rd and Windsor
rd). Exiting these roads onto Fordhouse lane will become very
difficult. The major increase in traffic on Fordhouse lane will add to
Even though the main entrance is no longer on Pershore rd, clogged up
traffic on both Pershore rd and Fordhouse lane will increase
dramatically, as we will have people coming down from Kings Heath, and
Impact on public transport services
With this increased traffic on both Fordhouse lane and Pershore lane,
there will be a major impact on public transport, particularly the bus
services number 11, 45 and 47. There will be significant delays, which
will have a knock on effect to people also in other areas.
There is a fear that due to the increased traffic problems on Pershore
road and Fordhouse lane, in time there will be significant parking
restrictions on these roads to ameliorate the problem. This could even
mean a return to the original proposal where double yellow lines would
go on Pershore road, which will be catastrophic for local shops. Asda
were consulted that if the there are parking restrictions on Pershore
road and it impacts on local retail, would they compensate the
affected businesses. They said they wouldn’t.
Pollution and health
Another effect of increased traffic is the major increase in car
pollution. This will affect negativly both the environment (the Rea
valley wildlife corridor behind the site) and health of people from
surrounnding communities. Residents on roads like Ivy road will also
be affected by the car fumes from the large car park behind their
Thanks for your support