Honiton supermarket’s bid to extend delivery hours refused by district planners

Honiton's Aldi store. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhh 4589-29-13SH To order your copy of this photograp

Honiton's Aldi store. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhh 4589-29-13SH To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders. - Credit: Archant

A Honiton supermarket’s bid to extend its delivery hours to between 6am and 10pm has failed after district councillors refused the variation.

Aldi, on Exeter Road, applied to change the delivery times for the store, which are currently restricted between 7am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.

The supermarket sought to extend the delivery times on Monday to Saturday to allow them to begin an hour earlier and finish two hours later.

The application was thrown out at the council’s development management committee meeting last Tuesday (March 6).

In a report submitted to the council, planning officers said ‘insufficient information’ was provided by Aldi to demonstrate the extended delivery hours would not have a ‘significant adverse impact’ on neighbouring occupiers.

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Officers also noted the store could operate within the currently approved hours, despite the suggestion that the extension would improve the working efficiency of the business.

Speaking for the application on Tuesday, Dave Williams, planning consultant for Aldi, said the current delivery hours fail to give the store ‘appropriate flexibility’ to meet customer demand.

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He told councillors early deliveries arrive at around 7am and could take up to an hour to unload from the lorry into the storage area, meaning staff have a limited window to stock the shelves before the store opens.

Mr Williams said later deliveries also cause problems in the car park with vehicles turning.

He added Aldi is willing to sign up to a quiet delivery scheme to minimise vehicle noise by switching off the engines while stationary and not using reversing alarms in the morning.

Councillor Phil Twiss, ward member for Honiton St Michael’s, said he rarely saw empty shelves at Aldi.

He added: “I do not see the need for it, other than for the convenience of Aldi’s logistics operation.”

Councillor Mike Allen said: “The staff at Aldi unload all day.

“It is not a question of internal logistics, it is a question when the lorries arrive and depart.

“I must say, the officers have done absolutely right.”

The application was refused by 11 votes and one against.

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