Aldi has this week been given approval to introduce overnight deliveries at its Highbridge supermarket despite concerns that it will create night-time noise for nearby Travelodge hotel guests and local residents.
The Aldi store, which opened last August in 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 has applied to have the condition removed even though town councillors fears it will disrupt guests at the new Travelodge hotel juist 23 metres away, and also lead to an increase in night-time noise through Highbridge from delivery lorries.
At a meeting of Sedgemoor District Council’s Development Control Committee in Bridgwater on Tuesday (February 10th), councillors approved the store’s application to have its delivery time restrictions removed.
It follows a three-month trial of the unrestricted hours last autumn to see if nearby residents were affected when no objections were received.
At a recent meeting of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge Town Council’s Planning Applications Committee, councillors felt it was inappropriate to grant approval to the application.
Cllr Andy Brewer said: “We have received a very comprehensive letter from Highbridge Travelodge which notes that Aldi’s night deliveries could adversely impact their hotel guests.”
But Aldi 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.
Town councillors said they remained concerned about noise disruption to Travelodge, which is just 23 metres away from the store.
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.”
Town councillors lodged a formal objection against the request to remove the planning condition, recommending that daytime delivery hours are adopted, but that was rejected this week and Aldi’s application has been given consent.