Asda has hit back at complaints of disruption caused by deliveries to its store in Bedminster, claiming its staff have been victim of a campaign of abuse from nearby residents.
The supermarket giant even claims the situation has seen one man convicted after he admitted trespassing on the store’s delivery yard and damaging goods by throwing around bags of produce.
The row goes back eight years and centres on accusations that deliveries have been made to the store outside the permitted hours, which are between 6am and 10pm.
Nearby residents also claim staff and lorry drivers are subjecting them with antisocial behaviour, including the revving of engines, out-of-hour use of jet washes and blocking of pathways - all allegedly shown on a YouTube channel set up called Southville Community Fighting for Justice.
Complaints over deliveries outside permitted hours have been made to Bristol City Council, which says it has so far been unable to resolve despite repeated attempts.
BristolWorld has since put the issue of the notice, along with local resident accusations, to Asda, which in response has provided an astonishing background summary to the incidents as well as a statement.
Firstly, the supermarket said it had been granted temporary permission to receive deliveries around the clock throughout the pandemic.
It added that without being able to deliver throughout the night the store would have been unable to serve customers who needed shopping delivered.
Then the supermarket giant revealed an alleged ‘campaign of abuse’ towards staff from residents which had included physical and verbal assault, trespassing, threats through social media and a constant bombardment of emails and calls to colleagues both at the store and head office.
It highlighted the conviction of a man given a 12-month conditional discharge at Bristol Magistrates Court in April last year after admitting burglary while trespassing, criminal damage to £25 worth of produce and to using threatening language toward staff.
The man, who BristolWorld has chosen not to name, held an address in Hartcliffe, three miles from the store, however.
The court and Avon and Somerset Police confirmed the conviction.
Asda said, following the planning enforcement notice, that it had agreed to temporarily revert operating hours to the permitted delivery hours under its planning consent, 6am-10pm.
In its statement, a spokesperson said: “To help support the local community in Bedminster and manage an increase in online orders from vulnerable customers shielding during the pandemic, we utilised the government’s relaxation of delivery hours.
“These changes were introduced to ensure supermarkets could restock and continue to serve customers throughout the pandemic, however we have agreed to revert back to our usual permitted delivery hours whilst we continue to work closely with the council on a long term solution.’’