Saxmundham: Tesco labelled ‘noisy neighbours’

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco has denied claims that its drivers had delivered supplies to a Suffolk store outside restricted hours.

The company said it had adopted new practices to reduce noise caused by lorries, following complaints from residents living near its Saxmundham branch, but contradicted claims that delivery conditions had been breached.

The issue was first raised with the town council soon after the store opened at the end of May - since when, the town clerk has kept a record of each complaint regarding noise.

Under current conditions, deliveries must not be made outside the hours of 8am to 8pm - though an application is currently under consideration by district planners to extend the terms by an hour in the morning.

At a council meeting in June, a resident of Southwood Close complained about noise and claimed a lorry had arrived earlier than the agreed time inside a week of the store opening.

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Further complaints were made, that on June 12 a refrigerated lorry turned up at 9.15pm, and that another parked with its refrigerator running for 45 minutes a week later.

The town council has now called for the installation of a barrier similar to the 12ft fence which surrounded the previously derelict site before development. Clerk, Maddie Gallop said: “A robust sound barrier is essential as the quality of life for the residents is unbearable.”

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A Tesco spokesman said: “As soon as we became aware of these complaints from residents, we started work with the environmental health team on the district council to find a solution. All our deliveries are carried out within the conditioned times and we have recently adopted new working practices to make sure lorry deliveries are carried out as quietly as possible. Drivers now switch off their engines immediately after stopping, switch off all fridge units and do not use the reverse warning signal. We will continue to work with the council to make sure residents are not disturbed further.”

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