I invited Asda, my colleague Cllr Robin Hyde-Chambers and a worried resident to my home last night to discuss the proposal for a self service petrol station at the Stoke Park Asda.
The concerns of residents do appear to be limited to near the store, as those further away who do not need to live with the negative side seem to be in favour of the prospect of cheap fuel on their doorstep.
I also had concerns about safety and traffic on the entry and exit of the new project.
Andrew Lester from the head office in Leeds and Alan Jones who is a senior communications manager at Asda had been proactive in searching me out and I found them genuine and informative.
There had been a few squabbles on Streetlife between residents and I have to say I'm quite bored and fed up with people being called NIMBIES.
Reality check here - we are all nimbies when it comes to our children, our parents, and our little castles and I certainly don't pretend to be anything different! Yes, some of those that live nearby are happy with a new part of a very useful and much-loved ASDA but that's because we all see different things when looking at the same issue. Values, needs, concerns are an individual thing and I want everyone's views respected. Just because something doesnt bother you, doesnt make you a non-nimbie! it just means that particular decision gives you more benefit than negative or you have other priorities.
Not only that, but because of the resident's concern, the front of the area is going to be banked up more at his suggestion, so the 'black' hat view often ends up benefiting everybody involved. (the 6 hats debating tool is always a useful way to look at things). Input from residents is vital if a store is going to remain as popular as this one is.
Some things just won't please everybody but I think we all felt that the planning had been thought through well, with all residents in mind. There are some points that are still to be clarified and we will be informed of these once they return to base but overall I am satisfied that this will be acceptable and useful to Stoke Park.
I still have some concerns about the entrance and exit but we've been assured this will be monitored and I also have concerns for those living right on top of it, so I am still going to do a survey with those closest.
The planning committee are the ones who will be deciding this and I am happy to represent my ward on the day.
Feel free to give feedback here too or email me.
or tweet me @stokeparkcllr