Tesco branded 'disgraceful' over noisy cooler unit installed at store

Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Some residents are unhappy with work on the Tesco store at Manningtree (stock picture) - Credit: PA

Tesco has been criticised over fitting gas cooler at a store which residents say causes "unbearable" noise.

The supermarket giant will now have to mitigate the noise from the CO2 condenser, which was installed without planning permission after a major refit of the Manningtree store in the summer 2021.

Critics have slammed the supermarket for its attitude to the nearby residents and business who have complained the noise is impacting their enjoyment particularly of nearby Tidal Arts – used by many for arts and wellbeing courses, yoga and pilates classes.

Sarah McCarthy, in representations to Tendring District Council, said: “The noise it emits is like a very noisy car idling and kicking on and off, is totally intrusive and unbearable at night.”

Previous applications for condenser units located in a similar position to this application under consideration were refused due to noise and nuisance concerns.

A further application on the flat roof was approved in 2005.

But while officers had said “it is regrettable” that the CO2 gas cooler has already been installed prior to the granting of planning permission, the application presents a development that is acceptable in terms of design, visual impact and heritage considerations.

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A statement to the planning committee said: “The proposal will not result in any adverse impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, the settings of the surrounding listed buildings or the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“In addition, the proposal will avoid adverse impacts upon the environment in terms of noise and climate change and therefore in the absence of any material harm resulting from the development, the application is recommended for approval.”

That was not the view of committee members who included Councillor Peter Harris, (Cons, Weeley and Tendring) and who called Tesco’s attitude “disgraceful”.

He said: “I would add my complete disappointment with what in my opinion is the disgraceful behaviour by Tesco – a huge multi-milion pound company that have treated residents appallingly and also treated this council appallingly.

“They know they were going to fit this. I understand this was part of a planned refurbishment of this store. This was known for months if not years that this was going to happen.

“They have all the experience and all the professionals that support and back them and they would have known that this needed planning permission. But instead they chose not to do anything."