Northampton supermarket bosses set for clash with residents over increased early-morning HGV deliveries

Morrisions in Victoria Promenade. The delivery yard can be seen to the south of the main building, off Auctioneers Way.
Morrisions in Victoria Promenade. The delivery yard can be seen to the south of the main building, off Auctioneers Way.

A supermarket in Northampton risks the wrath of neighbours again by asking for permission to scrap limits on early-hours deliveries.

Morrisons in Victoria Promenade has extended its delivery hours twice since it opened in 1995 and is now able to accept two separate HGVs laden with goods in 'extended hours', which means early in the morning and late in the evening.

But now bosses want to remove this restriction, theoretically allowing unlimited deliveries while residents living on Auctioneers Way, Pen Court, Bidders Close and Trenery Way try to sleep. Monday to Saturday deliveries would also be accepted as early as 5am and as late as 11pm.

And the reasons given in a planning document will do little to ease their annoyance.

Outlining the problems caused by the fact deliveries cannot begin Monday to Saturday until 6am - when the store opens - the document says: "This means that deliveries including fresh milk, bread, newspapers etc. are being received while the store is open.

"This poses a health and safety risk as stock is being merchandised and placed on shelves whilst customers are entering the store.

"Careful consderation to avoid cluttering aisles must be observed to eliminate tripping hazards for customers and staff."

It adds: "The variations of conditiosn 1 and 3 will allow Morrisons to more efficiently meet all customers' expectations and provide the freshest produce for customers from the moment the store opens."

In summary, Morrisons says that the new delivery times and numbers will benefit the immediate area by staggering deliveries.

An inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, following a visit to the site, expressed particular concern for homes with bedrooms facing the site.

Rather than the sound of the HGVs themselves, he believed the noise of reversing beepers, cab radios, unloading in the yard and engine and refrigeration units on the lorries would all be problems.

However, Morrisons has assured him that the noise could be reduced by 10 decibels.

A decision will be taken by Northampton Borough Council in the coming weeks.