Plans for a major shopping development which could transform a leafy Warwickshire village have been unveiled.
The Forest Court shopping centre in Dorridge will be demolished and replaced with what would be the village’s only supermarket and a new doctors’ surgery.
Sainsbury’s has unveiled plans to redevelop the site and create 300 jobs.
Traders and residents welcomed the regeneration of the run-down 60s precinct, but said they were keeping an open mind until more details are known.
David Glanfield, chairman of the Dorridge and District Residents’ Association, said the committee was yet to discuss its response and would do so at a meeting on Monday.
He added: “We have been working for 10 years to regenerate Forest Court.”
Cheryl Buck, who owns dress shop Prommisses, would have to move but said the development would be good.
“It seems on balance what the community wants,” she said. “Whilst it’s never a good idea for a business to up-root, in the long term it might be better for everybody here. It will hopefully breathe new life into Dorridge centre.”
Anthony Craig, owner of Dorridge Butchers in the precinct, said he was not worried about competition from the store. He said: “The precinct has been run-down for a couple of years. Half the shops are empty. Structurally, it leaks badly when it rains. This can only be for the better.”
Changes would see the 29,840sq ft food store developed with a number of small shops in Station Road.
Stairs, travelators and a lift would provide access to the store and doctors’ surgery, relocated to Station Road.
Underneath the store would be 220 parking spaces, with disabled and parent spots. A community facility would be part of the revamp. Coun Andrew Mackiewicz (Con, Dorridge & Hockley Heath) said: “This proposal has been the culmination of years of hard work by the residents’ association to regenerate the village centre. Forest Court is a building that needs attention. We look forward to getting the views of the residents as part of the consultation.”
The supermarket giant’s bosses said the development will revitalise the heart of Dorridge, encouraging residents to do more shopping locally and increasing trade. Jamie Cowen, head of property development at the chain, said: “We are compiling plans for a development in Dorridge, which will provide locals with a high quality new food store and easy access to popular Sainsbury’s brands.
“We hope many residents will visit the exhibition to give us their feedback, so we can finalise the scheme before submitting a planning application.”
The supermarket’s plans will be at a public exhibition at the former Burchell Edwards estate agents. The exhibition will take place on January 16, from 10am until 6pm and January 17, from 9am until 5pm.