Fears raised over Lowestoft store’s opening hours

The Aldi store in Lowestoft. Picture: Andy Darnell.

The Aldi store in Lowestoft. Picture: Andy Darnell. - Credit: Archant © 2009

A discount supermarket in Lowestoft has been given permission to open longer and extend the time lorries can deliver goods – despite fears from neighbours it could create a noise nuisance.

The Aldi store in Millennium Way can now open an extra hour – until 10pm – between Monday and Saturday, and take deliveries from 6am to 11pm from Monday to Saturday and 8am to 7pm on Sundays.

Previously, lorries could only deliver or pick up items between 7am and 10pm from Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 5pm on Sundays.

Waveney District Council's planning committee heard last Tuesday that people living near the store had objected to the delivery times and opening times being extended as they were worried about being disturbed by heavy traffic and lorries first thing in the morning and at night.

People living in Grasmere Drive, Oulton Road, Foxborough Road and Coniston Walk raised concerns that the longer hours will lead to noise and traffic problems. One letter sumbitted to planners, ahead of the meeting, said: 'Residents in Grasmere Drive and Foxborough Road are already suffering from unacceptable levels of heavy traffic as well as articulated lorries using this narrow road as a rat run.'

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Another couple added: 'To extend the delivery hours is unthinkable.'

As background to the proposals, an agent for Aldi said the extended trading hours 'will enable grater flexibility for customers to use the store and will enable Aldi to improve their operation.

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'The extended delivery hours will enable greater flexibility for deliveries to the store and enable goods to be delivered, unloaded and stocked on the shop floor prior to the trading day.'

In lodging the variation of conditions, Aldi also submitted a noise report, noise management plan and a proposed acoustic fence for the delivery yard.

The planning report to councillors said that a previous application – which included later delivery hours – were refused last December. It said: 'Since that refusal, lengthy pre-application discussions have taken place between the applicant's agent, its appointed noise consultant and council officers, principally to address the noise mitigation issue.'

The report adds: 'Having undertaken a noise assessment, the consultant's noise report concludes by stating that 'having assessed the main noise impacts from the extension of trading and delivery hours could be extended (as proposed) without causing significant harm to the health and quality of life of local residents.'

The findings from the noise assessment were reviewed and agreed by the council's environmental health department.

A council spokesman said that both applications 'were approved,' with a 12-month trial period granted to extend the permitted delivery hours.

'However the delivery hours were slightly reduced for Sundays and Bank Holidays,' the spokesman said. 'The application was for Sunday and Bank Holiday delivery times to be extended to 7am-11pm, however due to the committee's concerns, these delivery hours were revised to 8am-7pm.'

? Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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