‘You get more, you get more with a Morrison’s store.’ So went a 90s TV advertising jingle, for those old enough to remember. So it would seem. Acocks Green residents are just waking up to the fact that Morrison’s are intending a sixty million pound development on Shaftmoor Lane: the site of the old Lucas factory:
‘At the heart of the develoment is a new Morrison’s supermarket which will unlock the funding for an Extracare retirement village.’
the flyer tells us. This is to provide 400 jobs. OK – sounds good, but .. what is to happen to Acocks Green village shopping centre? Already it is feared that people will leave our local centre to shop at the new Tesco’s on the old ‘Swan’ site in Yardley, when that is finished in2012.
The Lucas development, about a mile from the centre of Acocks Green village could further help to haemorrhage shoppers away from the heart of our centre, possibly killing our smallish local Sainsbury’s and leaving more boarded up shops. Four hundred jobs – yes, maybe, but what will happen to the jobs of those who work in Acocks Green’s shopping centre?
Do we want our community shopping centre, at the heart of our village, to suffer this kind of competition? Do we want to replace our urban village shopping centre: a place where many people meet as they cross through the village to use not just the supermarkets, but greengrocers, hardware shops, small clothing retailers, charity shops, repair facilities for shoes and clothes and other facilities too, like the library, the local adult education centre, churches, pubs, banks, building societies and friendly small cafes with an efficient trip purely to get in the weekly shopping, as soon as possible, from under one roof? What effect would this have on the spirit and identity of Acocks Green community?
Many local communities are already struggling under the weight of ‘out of town’ hypermarkets. Do we want this to happen to us?
Concerned? We suggest you go to the exhibitions at the times advertised on the flyer reproduced above: August 1st 6-8, 2nd 10-7.00 or 3rd 10-4.00 at Yarnfield school, to find out more. Acocks Green Focus Group members will be looking in too, as, we suspect, will a lot more of our community; we are already picking up concerns. We will update with more info in due course.
First updates: Acocks Green Town Centre manager says that the Acocks Green village Sainsubury’s is 18,000 Sq. feet. The new Morrison’s will be 35,000 sq. feet – i.e. more than double the size of Acocks Green’s present largest supermarket.
Local councillors are expressing concerns at the plan.