Oundle residents may suffer ‘adverse impact’ from noise and disturbance if an application to lift all restrictions on delivery times to Oundle’s Waitrose store in East Road are approved.
As part of the planning permission conditions that saw the store being built, deliveries can currently only be made between 6am and 10pm.
The owners of Oundle’s Waitrose store have applied for 24-hour unloading to help them keep their shelves stocked, saying distribution chains are under extreme pressure.
A Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) carried out for Waitrose considered the impact of deliveries, based on a 24-hour period, on people living close to the service yard – in North Street and Kings Road.
The NIA said: “Whilst predictions have shown that noise from deliveries occurring during the proposed extended delivery period could be considered to have the potential to lead to some adverse impact, when considered in the context of other relevant metrics, the impact should be suitably mitigated and considered to be of low impact.
“Assessments were carried out demonstrating the typical noise levels from a single Waitrose HGV delivery would satisfy guidance for sleeping and resting and that the actual change in ambient noise level would result in negligible impact.
"On the basis of these additional assessments adding context to the noise impact, the proposed extension to the delivery window should not be considered to have any significant adverse impact on the surrounding properties.
Currently deliveries to the store are two per day and the report states that the frequency is ‘not expected to change’ with the proposed extension and that the new hours could alleviate ‘existing local and wider road traffic burdens’ by shifting certain deliveries out of rush hours.
Unloading Waitrose lorries takes between 45 to 60 minutes although deliveries made by smaller vehicles are considerably quicker than this.
The original permission stated that the timing of deliveries was anticipated to be during ‘normal trading conditions’ but at busy periods deliveries, such as Christmas, they could be more frequent.
In the application to North Northants Council, Waitrose said: “Waitrose adopts a responsible approach towards minimising the environmental impact of its delivery vehicles in urban areas and routes are therefore selected to minimise any unnecessary intrusions.”