Portslade supermarket criticised for disturbing neighbours

Posted On 17 Dec 2010 at 1:57 pm

Aldi was criticised by planners when it asked to extend its delivery hours and change restrictions on parking at its Portslade store.

Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee was told that the store was already disturbing neighbours by breaking the existing restrictions.

Aldi said that it wanted to “regularise the situation” at its Carlton Terrace store.

The cross-party committee told Aldi that the 12 staff could start work 30 minutes before the store opened and for 90 minutes after it closed.

But councillors refused to allow deliveries before 7.30am or after 8.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays.

Although they did agree to there being one main delivery and one milk delivery on Sundays and bank holidays. Previously none were allowed.

The committee was told that the store was already repeatedly breaking the planning conditions governing deliveries.

And it asked council officers to monitor the site and to consider taking enforcement action.

The committee – made up of Greens, Conservative and Labour councillors – also told Aldi to stick to the planning conditions governing parking.

This would mean allowing free parking for up to three hours and providing five bays for the residents who live in Ronuk House – the 12 flats above the store.

Excessive noise

Chris Wojtulewski, from planning consultancy Parker Dann, spoke on behalf of the residents and their families and for the Guinness Trust which co-owns the flats.

He criticised Aldi’s wish to extend delivery hours.

He also opposed a request to allow staff to work outside the store’s opening times of 8am to 8pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 6pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

He said that residents “can point to numerous occasions when they have been disturbed by excessive noise from within the store”.

He added: “Aldi’s attempt to relax existing controls will only make this worse.”

A representative of Aldi said that the store was trying to offer fresh food at competitive prices.

She said that it wanted to be able to do so on the same footing as rival supermarkets near by.

Carol Theobald, the Conservative councillor for Patcham, said that Aldi needed to employ more staff at the store.

While not disagreeing, Bob Carden, the Labour councillor for North Portslade, praised the store’s current hard-working staff.

A council planning officer said that officials would continue to respond to complaints that Aldi was breaking planning rules and consider whether enforcement action was necessary.

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