September 17, 2015
Highbridge's Asda store wins bid to make controversial 5am deliveries

Supermarket giant Asda has this week won its bid to permanently introduce controversial early morning delivery hours at its Highbridge store.

The company has been given the go-ahead by Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee, which approved the store's bid for 5am deliveries despite opposition from local residents.

Back in April the store was granted a three-month trial of the 5am deliveries - instead of the previous 7am - to assess the impact on the local community.

Highbridge councillors Roger and Janet Keen spoke out in opposition against the plans at this week's meeting, saying the noisy early morning lorry deliveries are "unacceptable" in a residential area.

But Committee Chairman Cllr Bob Filmer said: "We gave the go-ahead for a trial of the 5am deliveries earlier this year to gather feedback from local residents, but in fact there were no recorded complaints made to Environmental Health or Sedgemoor District Council. Given this, the committee decided that as the trial period had shown there were no problems, Asda's application should be granted."

One resident, Douglas Stewart, who lives in nearby Grange Avenue, says: "I strongly object on the grounds of noise disturbance to the local residents."

"This store is already a very noisy site. The only time of peace and quiet is during the traffic-free period which Asda now seeks to remove."

The company submitted a new application last month requesting that the early delivery hours become permanent to enable lorries to make deliveries on Mondays through to Saturdays from 5am each day.

Kate Gapper from RPS Planning, on behalf of Asda, says: "Allowing Asda to accept deliveries from 5am on Monday to Saturday will bring about more customer benefits as food can be on the shelves before the store starts getting busy at 8am. Receiving deliveries when the store is at its busiest leads to conflict between staff stocking shelves and customers."

"In addition, it does not provide early customers with the wider choice. Deliveries as proposed will also result in benefits to the customer in terms of a wider choice of produce and longer shelf life and life of the goods once purchased by the customer. The earlier delivery times will allow for the first round of home shopping customers to receive the full range of fresh products thus benefiting the customer. The number of deliveries will not increase as a result of allowing this application."


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