Published: October 31, 2013
Council gives 'thumbs down' to Highbridge Asda's 24hr opening bid

Town councillors last night gave a 'thumbs down' to proposals by Highbridge's Asda supermarket to open 24 hours a day.

The store in Caxton Road has submitted an application to Sedgemoor District Council to open 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday and retain its current Sunday opening hours of 10am until 4pm.

However, the Town Council's Planning Applications Committee last night raised a formal objection against the plans after hearing the concerns of nearby residents.

Ward councillor Chris Williams said: "I have been contacted by seven residents who are all opposed to the plans because of additional traffic and disturbance at night."

He added: "Although you have to treat every application by itself, I think Asda are being devious. If they get the extended store opening hours, they will then, presumably, logically argue that the proposed petrol station should have the same opening hours."

Highbridge councillor Bill Hancock added: "Highbridge has enough problems - this extension of hours would be absolutely horrendous. Overnight opening would bring a lot more trouble into the town at night, particularly if alcohol were available."

But Cllr Paul Young told the meeting: "We have to weigh up all the pros and cons and there's a balance to be taken here between the risk of overnight noise against the store creating more night-time jobs. We should look at the full picture."

But councillors agreed to raise objections against the scheme, citing extra night-time noise, and a final decision will be made by Sedgemoor District Council after its consultation period ends on November 8th.

Dale Bray, a resident who lives near the Asda store, told after Wednesday's meeting: "This is a positive start - it's good to have the backing of the Town Council."

"There is a lot of opposition and concern about the plans. We don't believe a small town of this size needs a 24-hour supermarket and we are concerned about the extra noise at night."


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