Just weeks after Brighton council leader Mary Mears pledged to stand up to supermarkets, planning officers have taken action against Aldi for breaching their planning permission.
The German supermarket branch in Carlton Terrace, Portslade, has been issued with a breach of condition notice for carrying out loading and unloading outside of the hours permitted by their planning permission.
Brighton and Hove City Council gave it planning permission almost four years ago in May 2006 with a condition that no vehicle movements nor any loading or uploading of vehicles associated with the retail use were to take place between 8.30pm and 7.30am Monday to Saturday, and not at any time on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
At the beginning of March this year, the council’s planning enforcement team received numerous complaints from members of the public about vehicles loading and unloading vehicles outside of the hours agreed under the approved planning application.
After an investigation the planning enforcement team wrote to Aldi informing them that they were in breach of planning control and that they should ensure that vehicles are unloaded only during the designated hours.
However, the council continued to receive complaints that it was still happening so a further warning letter was sent. This was also ignored.
The council issued a breach of condition notice on 9 April. If the notice is not complied with Aldi faces the prospect of prosecution proceedings being taken against them.
Martin Randall, assistant director, development, planning and public protection, said: “The planning enforcement team do everything they can to give companies a chance to resolve breaches of planning control without the need to issue formal notices.
“However, they will not hesitate to prosecute when necessary to protect residents from disturbance. Unfortunately in this case Aldi did not heed the warning letters and we will be following up on the notice to make sure the store complies with the conditions of its planning permission.”
Last month, Ms Mears spoke out on her blog against the big supermarket chains, saying she was getting a real sense of power draining away from local communities to the national giants.
And at the end of March, Sainsbury’s was given four weeks to submit a new application addressing concerns over the shopfront of its new Express store in Western Road, Hove, after it opened without permission and this was subsequently refused. If it fails to do this, it faces prosecution.