March 5, 2015
Residents angry at Asda's plans for 5am deliveries at Highbridge store

Angry residents in Highbridge have this week hit out at supermarket giant Asda over controversial new plans to introduce early morning deliveries at 5am each weekday.

The store in Caxton Road is seeking a variation to its planning conditions to allow lorries to make deliveries on Monday to Saturdays from 5am-9pm, and on Sundays from 9am-5pm.

Local residents have this week raised a number of concerns about the controversial plans.

John and Gill Belhomme, who live near the store, say the plans will effect "their health and quality of life."

"My wife is worrying herself sick at the thought of Asda's huge vehicles coming along between 5 and 6am - there is no way that one would sleep through that," said John.

Susan Sloan, whose family lived besides the Asda store until last year, told "My daughter moved out of her flat next to this store because of the disruption from passing traffic. It's just so unfair that this latest plan is being considered - it's very inconsiderate to residents."

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: "This store is right next door to lots of residential homes. None of us want noisy delivery lorries in this area at 5am - it's just a ridiculous proposal."

But Kate Gapper from RPS Planning, on behalf of Asda, explained: "The existing delivery restriction leads to a lack of customer choice and waste. 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."

The proposal is due to be considered by town councillors and district councillors over the next few weeks.


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