Amenity concerns partly upheld for extended opening hours

Tesco Stores Ltd has secured planning permission to extend the hours of one of its stores in a district centre in Essex, an inspector agreeing that it would not undermine the amenity of local residents as a consequence of later opening hours.

The convenience store could open at any time but on Sundays and bank holidays it was limited to between 8am and 9pm. The company wished to increase this until midnight and from 6am. An assessment of vehicles using the car park had been undertaken which, it claimed, would not lead to a material increase in noise levels.

Although the store could open for 24 hours on each weekday and on Saturdays it actually traded between 6am and 11pm. Increasing the opening times on Sundays when residents could reasonably expect to have a lie-in would be unduly harmful based on the likely number of additional car trips. This would be exacerbated by noise from trolleys and general activity. But the inspector saw no reason not to allow opening to midnight on Sundays and bank holidays, recognising that activity levels in the area were higher at that time and the store provided a valuable service to local residents.

Inspector: Nick Palmer; Written representations

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