Asda and Aldi supermarkets in Bedminster threatened with court action over breaking rules on delivery hours
Neighbours have complained of being woken up by deliveries from Aldi before 7am
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Two large budget supermarkets in Bedminster could end up in court for breaking rules around their delivery hours - after ‘significant and ongoing complaints’ from nearby residents.
Bristol City Council issued the notices in November last year, after “significant and ongoing complaints from local residents”, a planning committee heard.
The enforcement notices are the first after a “barren spell”, following government advice which saw the council take a “fairly light” approach towards food stores during the pandemic, the council’s head of development, Gary Collins, said.
Asda’s planning consent allows it to receive deliveries between 10pm and 6am, while Aldi is permitted to take deliveries from 7am to 10pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.
Mr Collins told the committee “there have been significant and ongoing complaints from local residents there about the breach of the agreed delivery hours” at both supermarkets.
“Despite attempts to try and resolve that informally, that hasn’t been successful,” he said on Wednesday, January 12.
“Complaints have continued to come in.
“We’ve served breach of condition notices on both stores as a result of that.
“We’re just assessing whether that has done the trick and whether those breaches of hours has now stopped or, if it’s continued, then the next step could be in the magistrates’ court.”
The breaches at the Aldi store go back at least a year, according to planning papers on the council’s website.
Neighbours told the council that the supermarket was “already breaching their 7am first delivery time” and “waking neighbours up” when the company applied for extended delivery hours in February last year.
Objecting to the application, which officers refused, then Southville councillor Stephen Clark wrote: “I have been told by local residents that the current time for early deliveries (7am) is often breached so I think it is unreasonable to change the earliest delivery time to 5am.
“Clearly this is a time when the vast majority of local residents are asleep and this is a shop in the middle of a residential area.”
Aldi made a second attempt to get permission to start taking deliveries at 5am, seven days a week, in August of last year.
This was also refused by council officers, who gave the same reason they gave earlier that year, namely that: “The proposed delivery times would result in unacceptable harm to the residential amenity of surrounding occupiers through noise and disturbance during night time hours.”
A care home lies behind the delivery yard of the Aldi and there are homes in the vicinity as well.
When the supermarket was originally built, deliveries were allowed between 7am and 8pm Monday to Saturdays, but not on Sundays, papers on the council’s planning portal show.
Aldi has managed to get those hours extended twice since then, once in 1994 and again in 2012, when Sunday deliveries were allowed.
Applying for the extra hours last year, the supermarket said it was responding to “demand for greater operation flexibility in the delivery hours at the store to meet the needs of customers and thus restocking shelves in a safe and efficient manner, and the flexibility to deliver outside of peak hours to avoid traffic and congestion.”