A fresh bid by Aldi to introduce overnight deliveries at its Highbridge supermarket has been turned down by town councillors this week amid concern that it would create night-time noise for nearby Travelodge hotel guests and residents.
The Aldi store, which opened in August off Bennett Road, is currently only able to accept deliveries between 6am until 11pm as part of a planning condition put in place by the district council to ‘safeguard residents from noise and disturbance’.
However, Aldi wants the condition removed and a three-month trial of the unrestricted hours has been underway since the end of August to see if nearby residents are affected.
The store has submitted an application to have its delivery time restrictions fully removed, saying that no residents have objected.
But at a meeting of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council’s Planning Applications Committee this week, councillors felt it was inappropriate to grant approval to the application.
“When we considered the last application from Aldi six weeks ago, the Travelodge hotel had yet to be finished and we said the three-month trial of the unrestricted delivery hours should be run to its full extent before a decision is made,” said Cllr Andy Brewer.
“We have since received a very comprehensive letter from Travelodge which notes that Aldi night deliveries could adversely impact their hotel guests.”
Aldi has also submitted a 53-page report to the council and even paid a noise consultant to examine noise levels during lorry deliveries. “It says the noise levels from the nearby M5 motorway are greater than its store deliveries,” said Cllr Brewer.
But town councillors said at this week’s meeting that they remain concerned about noise disruption to Travelodge, which is just 23 metres away from the store, and to residents in Highbridge.
Cllr Peter Clayton said: “Aldi got consent with the condition around opening times attached for good reason – to safeguard people from noise and disturbance – and it should stay.”
Cllr Louise Parkin added: “Every other supermarket in Burnham has deliveries in the daytime so why should Aldi be an exception? It needs to be an even playing field.”
Cllr Nick Tolley added: “We do need to look carefully at the full picture here. Lorries would come through Highbridge overnight to reach Aldi, affecting residents. It’s not a big hypermarket and it should be able to take deliveries in the daytime.”
Cllr John Parkes agreed, adding: “It’s just not on. The delivery lorries would pass nearby homes in the early hours – I’m against it.”
Councillors agreed to lodge a formal objection against the request to remove the planning condition, recommending that daytime delivery hours are adopted.
Source: Burnham-on-Sea, to read the article in full, click here.