PLANS to allow lorry deliveries to the proposed new Aldi superstore on Northgate to start at 6am and extend until midnight were passed by Sedgemoor District Council's Development Committee today (Tuesday, July 7).

The move was approved by seven votes to five despite more than 20 letters of objections by residents as well Bridgwater Town Council being against the change.

Westover councillor Brian Smedley said: “Residents concerns have been disregarded and yet again supermarkets are being allowed to call the shots.

"This was an appalling decision as they could have said right at the start that this was their intention but instead they have slipped it in as a ‘variation’ after the initial planning permission was granted."

Cllr Smedley said while Aldi would be a welcome addition to the Northgate development, as good neighbours they should have stuck with the agreement in the original planning consent that there would be no deliveries between 11pm and 7am.

He added: "The defence for this change is that the variation wouldn’t affect the amenity of those residents residing nearby – well clearly it would – by two hours a day, seven days a week.

"Residents do not want a temporary six month trial period to assess the impact; they want the original terms of the planning decision honoured.”

On behalf of Aldi Stores, Phil Marsden addressed the meeting saying that Aldi had a wide range of stores to deliver to and that this would provide them with an opportunity to spread deliveries out during the day around the region.

Aldi say the extended delivery hours would provide them with a larger window to complete their stock delivery and restocking the shelves when the store is at its quietest.

The supermarket argues that it would also allow delivery vehicles to be on the road when traffic is quieter and would avoid potential impacts and delays.

Sedgemoor District Council's planning officers said that given the physical layout of the site's delivery area at the rear of the building, 'there would be little impact from opening up of the delivery door and the unloading of goods at an earlier hour'.