Budget supermarket Aldi has lost an appeal to extend early morning deliveries at its North Street store in Bedminster.
The supermarket wanted to change the rules of its permitted delivery hours so deliveries could take place between the hours of 5am to 10pm Mondays to Saturdays and 5am to 6pm on Sundays.
The delivery hours are currently from 7am Mondays to Saturdays and 9am on Sundays. A previous proposal to vary the delivery hours had also been refused.
The Planning Inspectorate said the main issue was the effect that varying the delivery hours would have on the living conditions of residents of neighbouring properties, with regard to noise and general disturbance.
In the report for the appeal decision, the inspector said that as a consequence of the delivery noise, particularly during arrival, and especially between the hours of 5am and 6am, neighbouring residents are ‘likely to have to keep windows closed most of the time (while sleeping) and there is potential for sleep disturbance, including premature waking and difficulty getting back to sleep. This would lead to diminished quality of life’.
The inspector added: “This is backed up by comments received from neighbours who note they have been awoken before 7am by deliveries, even with closed windows and resulted in the need to keep windows closed. The noise of vehicles backing into the loading bay is noted as a particular issue.”
The appeal decision report noted that the site receives one or two deliveries a day by heavy goods vehicles, plus an unspecified number of deliveries by smaller vehicles for locally sourced products and milk.
Once within the site, vehicles would have to manoeuvre within the car park and HGVs would need to reverse into the loading bay before unloading.
The inspector said: “This activity would create a range of noise and general disturbance including short duration irregular sound events, such as revving engines, air brakes, refrigeration units, reversing alarms, shutting of vehicle doors, the opening and closing of the store doors and loading dock and the movement of pallets and goods. It is also likely that the proposed change would require store workers to arrive earlier with the noise associated with that.”
During the Covid 19 pandemic, Government guidance led to delivery hours being relaxed to ensure supermarkets could restock safely. Between November 2020 and February 2021, daily deliveries were made at the store between the hours of 5am and 7am.
The report concluded that the reason given for the appeal being dismissed was ‘in the interests of protecting the amenities of nearby residential properties’.