Supermarket giant Asda’s plans to introduce early morning 5am deliveries at its Highbridge store on weekdays have been given the go-ahead despite opposition from some local people.

The store in Caxton Road has been granted permission on a three-month trial basis by Sedgemoor District Council to change its planning conditions, allowing lorries to make deliveries on Mondays through to Saturdays from 5am, instead of the current 7am.

The three-month trial period will allow the authority to assess the impact on the local community.

The decision comes amid objections from Burnham and Highbridge Town Council and several local residents, as we have previously reported.

This week’s decision is the latest in a series of planning applications that have been opposed locally but still been given a ‘green light’ by Sedgemoor District Council. Last week, 25 homes were approved in Berrow despite 48 letters of objection.

At the latest meeting of the Town Council’s Planning Applications Committee, Cllr Pat Burge said: “This would be very unfair to residents living right next to the store. Asda must take into consideration their neighbours.”

Cllr Andy Bewer added: “I am personally against the extension of hours – the store’s initial conditions included these opening hours, which are there to protect local residents.”

Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton agreed, saying: “The conditions are there for a reason – I also oppose the 5am request.”

The Town Council subsequently lodged a formal objection on the grounds of “protecting the community.”

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.”