Chris and Ron write:
According to Geoff Percival in today’s Echo:
RETAIL giant Asda has promised to listen to residents before opening a new superstore 24 hours a day.
A Government inspector, has overturned Rochford District Council’s refusal to allow unlimited opening, after the firm appealed.
The new store, in Rawreth Lane, Rayleigh, is now nearing completion as part of the development of the old Park School site.
The development also includes housing, the new Rayleigh Leisure Centre and a primary school.
The supermarket originally also applied to the council for new illuminated signs advertising 24-hour opening, but these have now been withdrawn.
In a report to councillors, head of planning Shaun Scrutton said: “These were optional signs which the applicant has asked to be deleted, as the store is not to open to customers for 24 hours.”
However, the company has also applied to the council for a licence to sell beers, wines and spirits 24 hours a day.
Asda spokesman Philip Bartram said: “We have not made any decision about opening hours and we will listen to the local people.
“Options are open, but I cannot be more specific.”
He added: “We are really excited about coming to Rayleigh and are looking forward to working closely with the local community as our store develops.”
Chris Black, Lib Dem councillor for Downhall and Rawreth, said he still had concerns about the store’s likely opening hours.
He said: “I will be keeping a close watch on the situation, as this is probably closer to homes than any other Asda store, particularly in this area.
“There are major concerns and a lot of people feel bitter about what has happened, so I hope the company will take note of local concerns.”
Now, if you look at the original council report on Asda’s planning application, you find:
Following the concerns raised by Members and from the public consultation responses the applicants have provided additional information concerning hours of opening and delivery trips.
The applicant confirms that the Store would trade between the hours 08.00 ? 22.00 hrs Monday to Saturday and for 6 hours between 10.00 and 18.00 hrs on Sundays.
So it will be interesting to see just how much Asda are now willing to listen to resident’s concerns, especially as they originally confirmed that the store would not be opening 24 hours per day.