This article appears in the October edition of the Northwood Residents’ Association newsletter.
At our public meeting held on 19th August, Northwood residents gave the Save our Northwood (SON) committee a mandate to form a company limited by guarantee and to open a bank account. This has now been done. We were also given a mandate to oppose the proposed development and start a fighting fund.
The first formal milestone in the process is the pre-planning consultation at which the developers, Bride Hall, are required to show us fairly detailed plans with drawings, give necessary explanations and take note of our comments and objections. The consultation will take place over several days and we expect representatives of Sainsbury’s to be involved. Bride Hall have said that they expect to hold the consultation in November but they have yet to confirm the date. This consultation is our first real chance of telling Sainsbury’s that they are not welcome in Northwood. If all 7,000 petitioners turn up and give them the clear message to clear off, they will be overwhelmed by the numbers and might, possibly, get the message. I would point out that Bride Hall is under no obligation to take any of our comments into account – all they have to prove is that they consulted residents. Thus our clear message must be that the planned store is unlikely to be profitable as Northwood residents will not use it.
To date, the committee, some residents and Nick Hurd have written letters of protest to Justin King, Chief Executive Officer of Sainsbury’s, Boris Johnson and Eric Pickles. I would urge all of you to write to Justin King and Boris Johnson.
Bride Hall is required to produce an environmental report as part of the planning application. This will include subjects such as traffic flow, noise and air pollution, effect on neighbours and on the water table. They will employ experts and spend many thousands of pounds compiling these reports which will paint the rosiest picture possible. In order to challenge these reports, we will have to employ our own experts to produce evidence on our behalf. We believe that this could cost £30,000 or more and, if we don’t raise this amount for our fighting fund, we will not be able to challenge Bride Hall properly and will probably lose our fight.
[We have included a donation envelope with this newsletter. Please give generously to save Northwood from the horrors of this proposed development.]
If you have other ideas as how to raise funds, get media attention or help us with our fight, please do contact me.
Our website, www.saveournorthwood.com, is updated regularly to keep you informed. We will endeavour to update those of you without access to a computer by word of mouth and posters in local shops.
The next public meeting is to be held at Emmanuel Church at 8 pm on Monday 18th November.