Extension of delivery hours (again)

Sainsbury’s (or Bristol Rovers?)  submit appeal against Bristol City Council.

Sainsbury’s have applied to the Secretary of State to challenge Bristol City Council’s refusal to extend the delivery times of their proposed store on the Memorial Ground. 

Sainsbury’s want to supply the store using 44 ton lorries from 5am until midnight, seven days a week.  They claim this is necessary to make a store of this size viable.  Residents say the viability of the store is not their problem – they have always said it is too big for the site and will blight their lives if there are only 5 delivery free hours each day.

The Council refused the original application on 28th January 2014 stating that these hours of delivery ‘would have a detrimental impact on the amenity of local residents’.  Indeed Sainsbury’s own noise assessment showed that 20 properties around the site would suffer sleep disturbing levels of noise for 19 hours every day.

The appeal relies on raising the threshold for what is considered a sleep disturbing level of noise:  previous applications relied on BS 8233 and the World Health Organisation recommendations but the appeal cites 25 year old research from Germany to justify a much higher noise level as reasonable.  The new noise assessment on instruction from Bristol Rovers, criticises the noise assessment of the previous application for containing erroneous data and lacking clarity.

Sainsbury’s were granted planning permission in January 2013 with the permitted delivery hours of 6am until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 9am until 8pm on Sundays.  These are extensive delivery hours when compared to other local supermarkets (especially considering the more confined and intensely residential location) :

Tesco Golden Hill                    7am – 9pm      Mon-Sun

Co-op Glos Road                    8am – 6pm      Mon-Sun

Local residents ask how 5 hours of undisturbed sleep could be enough for anyone.  Many of the houses around the site have young familes with gardens and bedroom windows facing the delivery route.  A resident of Trubshaw close said ‘The previous assessments told us that the noise would wake us up.  A new assessment won’t make it any quieter – they have just changed the targets and raised the fences’.

The appeal also suggests the construction of 2.7 – 3.6 metre high fences around the gardens of local residents to prevent sleep being disrupted.  ‘I don’t want a 9 foot fence towering over me in the garden – it would be like a prison’ a resident on Filton Avenue said.

Tom Kennedy said ‘Sainsbury’s have waited until the last day of the sixth month period to appeal the decision.  Perhaps they are hoping the recent political pressure created by the open letter from Charlotte Leslie and Stephen Williams will force the Council into permitting the extension.  Stephen Williams should be acting to safeguard his constituents’ right to a decent night’s sleep’.

Local residents hope that the Inspector will be immune from the political pressure that has allowed this monster development to get to where it is now and throw out this appeal for the harm an extension to delivery hours will cause.



This appeal will be determined by an inspector following the submission of written statements.


Deadline for representations to the Planning Inspectorate: 11th September 2014

Case Office: Michael Joyce            Case Officer Email: teamp16@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Always quote reference number A/14/2222880

Planning Inspectorate Customer Support Line Tel: 0303 444 5000

The Planning Inspectorate will not acknowledge representations but will ensure that letters received by the deadline are passed to the Inspector. Such views will be conveyed to both parties to the appeal.

If you wrote to BCC giving your views at the application stage, a copy of your letter should have been supplied to the inspector.  If you would like to write now or modify or elaborate on any earlier views please write to:

The Planning Inspectorate,

Temple Quay House,

2 The Square,

Temple Quay,

Bristol BS1 6PN


Quoting reference number A/14/2222880  PLEASE SEND 3 COPIES !

You can also submit your views on-line and check the information and progress using the Planning Casework Service at:

Please use the last seven characters of the Appeal Ref above to search for this case (2222880).

Application 13/05462/X Extension of delivery hours
Sainsbury’s have requested permission to have the previously agreed limit on delivery hours extended to 5am – midnight 7 days a week creating what is likely to become an intolerable and significant noise disturbance for local residents for all but 5 hours in any 24 hour period.

Object here

The noise assessment predicts that at least 20 properties will suffer a ‘sleep disturbing’ level of noise (LAmax >45dB) for all but 5 hours of every day of the week (table 5.3 of Noise Assessment Nov13). In this assessment they fail to remark on these exceedences.

The noise assessment does not include noise impacts created by the proposed raised table. It uses best case assumptions on the noise attenuation of windows. It does not consider ground borne vibration. The assessment also uses football/rugby match events in its calculation of base line noise level.

Sainsbury’s should not have pursued application 12/02090/F to permission unless the terms that the Council had offered were agreeable. It is not true that the covered yard improves the noise impact since the noise assessment of the original application – it is receptors on route to the store (R1, R2 and R12) that suffer sleep disturbing levels of noise for which the covered yard creates no benefit.

The current agreed delivery regime permits 17 delivery hours per working day. If peak periods were considered to span 3 of these hours then there are 14 hours of uncongested access. Sainsbury’s assured residents that the traffic impact of this store would not be ‘significant’ and road capacity was sufficient for a store of this size. If congestion does in fact become problematic for deliveries they should not be permitted to use their own error to justify extended amenity damage for residents by way of extended delivery hours. Instead they should be forced to encourage shoppers to not use cars by reducing the number of car parking (or charge for use of car parking spaces) to create road capacity for their own deliveries during sociable hours.

The noise assessment uses the ‘Quiet Delivery Demonstration Scheme’ as a basis for the assumptions in the noise assessment. Sainsbury’s themselves were involved in the creation of this report. The Department for Transport (DfT) were carfeful to state in the introduction of the report that ‘Although this report was commissioned by DfT the findings and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the DfT. . . The DfT does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of that information and cannot accept liability for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from reliance on the information or guidance that this document contains’.

We would like to be convinced that this report is in fact a ‘methodology for curfew relaxation’ as WYG suggest, rather than a self serving concoction for which no-one is liable. It is shocking that WYG/Sainsbury’s would entertain this report as a confident basis to assert that the sleep of local residents will not be affected when it undoubtedly will.

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