Waitrose is aiming to overturn the ban on night-time deliveries to the Wellington store. Up to three trucks a night could be unloading at any time between 8pm and 7am behind the shop, close to adjoining retirement homes in Orchard Close, some only 20m from the delivery bay.
To reach Waitrose after leaving the main road at Priory, articulated lorries also drive past many residential properties on Sylvan Road before turning into the industrial estate behind the supermarket.
Managers complain that with the current ban on deliveries before 7am, shop staff have only 1hr to unload a 40ft truck and re-stock the shelves with fresh produce before opening to customers at 8am.
In their letter to planners, Waitrose say that the “current restrictions constrain the operational efficiency of managers which in turn negatively affects the shopping experience of customers”
A report from Noise Solutions Limited, hired by Waitrose, says that night time deliveries “will not give rise to adverse effects on health or quality of life for nearby residents”.
Put more plainly, the letter goes on to say that early morning shoppers cannot find everything they want to buy and that the aisles are congested with Waitrose staff moving stock cages around.
In the planning permission granted to build a supermarket, granted in 2008, Taunton Deane specifically banned night-time deliveries, reflecting concerns from local residents.