Morrison’s Monday Mayhem – Avoided?

Proposed view of Morrisons Small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update.  As I said below we had to wait until the new year to find out how the traffic moved around the new store.  I have not seen any glitches in the traffic but I know that some people have found small hiccups on school days turning right into Thames Street. Also I have never seen the store car park full – the lowest being seven place left.

An exciting day on Monday as our illustrious mayor opens the new Weybridge Morrisons.

Not only is the store new but it is a flagship store and that means people will come to see the new features that no other Morrison store has.  I can smell the bakery from where I live.

Morrisons says that the first two weeks of a store opening draws many more people than usual so they will have extra staff in place to protect the car park from over filling.  These staff are intended to stay fro two weeks but if the problems persist then the staff will be kept on until the pressure dies down.

As the opening comes just before Christmas the extra traffic could last through Christmas and the sales into January.  By January we should see the normal flow.

It will be interesting to see where these extra cars will go. Contact me here if you have a problem.

Morrisons

Proposed view of Morrisons SmallThank you for all your questions and comments.  These are the answers that Morrison gave me today at our meeting.

When will Monument Hill be opened?  This afternoon.

Will all of the street work be complete?  No there will be short closures from time to time.  The pedestrian crossing is still to be finished and the landscaping will be completed in November – apparently the best time to plants trees.

What about the illumined sign at the rear of the store?  Morrisons says it will look again at the sign facing Baker Street.

What about the contractor parking problem?  Morrisons says that it has made park and ride facilities available to all contractors so if anyone finds any problem parking then call Simon Whittingham on 07964 245 239.

When will the store be opened? The intended day for the opening of the store will be Monday, 24 November. Morrisons invite ideas for the opening – any thoughts?

How will the store manage traffic after opening?  Morrisons expects a larger than usual number of visitors in the first few weeks so it has laid on extra resources to ensure that the flows are well managed.

What is the employment situation?  All the twenty or so departmental managers have been recruited and Morrisons is in the final placement stage for the general staff of 200. Most of which are very local. Morrisons has worked with the job centre next door to recruit long term unemployed people and the apprenticeships will be in place soon. further recruitment will begin soon to fill in any gaps.

Where will the staff park?  Morrisons says that in off-peak times those staff members who need to park wills use the under-croft parking at the store.  At peak times Morrisons says it will provide off-street parking (not Elmbridge public car parks).

Will there be trolley tokens to stop trolleys being left all over the place?  No there will not nor will there be any trolley mechanism to stop the trolleys leaving the store. However, Morrisons beleives that the design of the store is such that people will not take trolleys out of the store. That will be one to watch.

Will Morrison seek further planning change in the future?  Given that the Weybridge store is the only one in the country that does not have deliveries on all of its opening days, I expect Morrisons to apply again at some point in the future to have some of the delivery restrictions set aside.  Said the that I thought it would be unwise to pursue such a course until its stock with the burghers was considerably higher than it is at present. It would need to demonstrate that the local fears regarding noise were unfounded – if that be possible.

The roundabout looks awful – will Morrisons change it?  The roundabout is Surrey’s idea as is the chevron design. This is a matter that I will be taking up in due course.

Parking responsibility  On-street parking management is perversely Surrey’s responsibility (I think it should be Elmbridge’s but thee you go).  I have no doubt that a review of all local streets will have to take place once Morrisons opens.  Surrey has already said that, in Elmbridge, it will look at Walton first – there is no guarantee that Weybridge would be next – unless we all kick up a fuss.

Baker Street Traffic. This problem should abate now that the road works are almost complete.  As part of the planning application Morrisons has agreed to contribute to the traffic carming of Baker Street.  It is for Surrey to take this project forward.  I have a more radical solution – restrict motorised traffic (apart from buses and taxis) from passing in front of Lloyds Bank. That would remove through traffic completed and civilise the town.

Have I missed anything? Then please tell me.

 

Morrisons Signage

 

Morrissons Sign-01Recently Morrisons applied for six internally illumined signs (2014/1192) for the outside of its building.  There were a number of objections and now it has been withdrawn (It does not been that there was a causal link between the two).

If you look at the plans you might be surprised that there was a plan to have a sign on the Baker Street side of the building – on the other hand you might not.

Elmbridge Independent Retailer of the Year Competition 2014

Baker Street websiteHave you been given excellent service by a Weybridge shop, cafe or restaurant then give them your vote in this year’s retailer competition.

The retailer competition takes place once again this year. Voting will close on Monday, 6 May.  This year, there are six categories to vote on:

  • Best restaurant and café
  • Best for hair and beauty
  • Best for fashion and gifts
  • Best for deli/grocery/speciality food and drink
  • Best for specialty products
  • Best independent retailer in Elmbridge

Online voting opened on 7 April 2014 – cast your vote now.  Closing date for votes is 6 May 2014.  For more information

Talk to Morrisons

Proposed view of Morrisons Small

Morrisons will be holding an information event for site neighbours and local residents at 4-7pm on Wednesday, 19 March at the social club in Springfield Lane.  There is more information about the event to the project website later this afternoon (www.morrisonsweybridge.co.uk).

The building is at an important stage now is the groundwork preparation stage should be completed next week.  Morrisons is about to begin the main construction phase   This will see them putting the steel structure for the building in place and then completing the wider building skeleton, followed by internal fit out work.

Morrisons is back for more

Morrisons Lorry-02Morrisons has applied to reduce the conditions imposed at the time of the original planning permission.  See their reasons (Letter).

If you want to know more about this application then click here.  The reference number is 2014/0484.

Many local people objected to such a large supermarket in the town centre.  Others, who supported the development, did so with the proviso that a number of concerns were met with the appropriate conditions. One of those concerns was the increase in noise and the other the possible increase in movement of lorries during the night.

Morrison wants to remove these conditions because it feels that they are unnecessary and unduly onerous.  Many people have told me that Morrisons should have raised this matter during its original application – it accepted it then and should do so now.

Make sure your views are known by emailing tplan@elmbridge.gov.uk, quoting reference 2014/0484, before 21 March 2014.

Remember to tell your friends and neighbours.

ECIF 100 event

The Elmbridge Civic Improvement Fund (ECIF) celebrated awarding 100 grants to local businesses. There is still a budget of £250,000 available, could your business be the next to be awarded a grant? Find out more on Tuesday, 21 January in the reception area of the Civic Centre.

The session, which will run from 8am to 10am, will allow local businesses to ask any questions about the fund and we will also be on hand to help them through their application forms. If you have any questions about the fund this is the place to go.

Key Highlights from the Autumn Statement

Local Government Funding
While the chancellor has announced new, further departmental savings for departments, local government has been largely protected. The chancellor has said this is to encourage local governments to take up the national government’s offer of a council tax freeze which is again available in the coming financial year.

There will be a new national council tax discount of 50% for family annexes from April 2014. This will support extended families living together, for example with children saving for a new home or elderly parents (who would not otherwise qualify for the existing exemptions). It will be fully funded by the national government.

New Homes Bonus
Following the consultation carried out over the summer and in light of some powerful arguments made by colleagues in local government, the national government has confirmed that it will not pursue the proposal to top slice the NHB receipts for Local Enterprise Partnerships for councils outside London. The £2 billion Local Growth Fund will be made up from other decentralised budgets.

Cutting business rates and helping local shops
A series of measures have been announced to continue to prioritise small businesses and local growth. This includes:

  • The planned 3.2% RPI increase for 2014-15 will be reduced to 2%. There will be a £1,000 discount for all retail, pubs, cafes (excluding banks and betting offices) with rateable values below £50,000 for 2 years.
  • The doubling of Small Business Rate Relief will continue for a further year. Ratepayers will continue to keep their Small Business Rate Relief entitlement for a year where they take on a second property,
  • New occupiers of former retail premises which have been unoccupied for a year will receive a 50% discount for 18 months.

There will be a consultation on reforms to the business rates appeals process and a commitment to clear 95% of the September 2013 backlog of appeals before July 2015.
It has been reported that local governments will be fully refunded for the loss in revenue resulting from these changes.

Increasing funding for housing
A number of new measures to support house building were announced. This includes a £1 billion, six-year investment programme to fund infrastructure to unlock new locally-led, large housing sites. This will support the delivery of around 250,000 houses. More is being done to support Right to Buy; introducing agents help buyers complete their purchase, and a £100 million fund to improve applicants’ access to mortgage finance. There is also the intention to consult on a Right to Move for social tenants wanting to take up work or training in another area.

Announcement referred to a review into the role of local governments in supporting overall housing supply. Accompanying this, the national government has announced a limited increase in Housing Revenue Account borrowing.

The additional £300 million will be allocated via a competitive bidding process with support given to local governments which can produce good business cases, agreed by their local enterprise partnership, that bring in local authority owned land and other forms of cross-subsidy such as sales of high value vacant property, raising funds to provide more overall homes.

Delivering savings from cutting fraud
Alongside the roll of the Single Fraud Investigation Service, DCLG and DWP are investing in local government’s capacity to tackle non-welfare fraud. This package of support will include extra funding over 2014-15 and 2015-16 which will be able to support new fraud investigator posts in councils focussed on tackling corporate fraud.