Tesco on Broughton Road want to change the hours during which it can deliver on Sunday mornings. Yet again. 

The latest application (Ref. 18/07477/FUL) seeks to amend an earlier permission (Ref. 09/00039/FUL) which allows Sunday deliveries from noon to 6pm. Tesco wants an extra two hours, starting from 10am. Locals simply want one morning a week when they can lie in bed, or sit in the garden, undisturbed. 

In support of its application, Tesco has commissioned an independent acoustic report which, to nobodys great surprise, after 15 pages of technical information, concludes that ‘the proposal will not give rise to significant adverse noise impacts’.

Noise in the real world, in our non-professional experience, rarely matches noise as studied by professional consultants. In this case, for example, noise would also arise from lorries, with their engines running and refrigeration units chugging, waiting for admission to the site from Logie Green Road.

Softly, softly

Tesco also proposes to ‘formally adopt’ an 8-point service yard noise management plan which would be applicable to all staff and third-party suppliers.

It sounds good in theory:

  • There will be adequate signage and instruction to ensure that all drivers and staff follow the noise management measures; 
  • All engines to be switched off as soon as vehicles are parked at the unloading dock; 
  • Whilst vehicles remain stationary in the service yard, no engines are to be left idling for more than 30 seconds; 
  • Refrigeration units are not to be operated whilst the delivery vehicle is in the service yard; 
  • All delivery vehicles to be driven in as quiet a manner as possible, avoiding unnecessary engine revving; 
  • No radios or stereos to be left on in vehicles during deliveries or at other times; 
  • Staff to be instructed to work quietly when outside the store or in the service yard - only performing essential tasks where noise could be generated; All components of the delivery system to be maintained in good working order.
  • All components of the delivery system to be maintained in good working order.

But we wonder how effectively it could be applied in practice. Tesco’s priority is speed of unloading, not blessed silence. We doubt whether even the best-intentioned, softly spoken managers – tip-toeing about the yard in fluffy slippers and shushing burly artic. drivers – will successfully avoid disturbing neighbours. And anyway, why hasnt Tesco formally adopted such best practice at all times of day already?

Same-old same old

Of course, these efforts to achieve an extension of hours are nothing new here. Tesco applied for the same change as recently as March (Ref. 18/00667/FUL, Breaking news, 3.3.18), but was refused because the changed delivery hours could ‘prejudice residential amenity which does not comply with Policy Hou 7 of Edinburgh Local Development Plan’. Before that, in  2014 (Ref. 14/01866/FUL), it was refused because its proposal was ‘contrary to Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Hou 8 in respect of Inappropriate Uses in Residential Areas’.

We very much hope the Council will stick to its guns this time around.

Interestingly, Lidl’s recent effort to extend delivery hours at Newkirkgate in Leith (Ref. 18/04255/FUL) has recently been withdrawn. 

Leith Central Community Council’s Planning Convener Harald Tobermann welcomed that result, but also sounded a note of caution: ‘The bigger picture is that CEC Planning has become so under-resourced and “permissive” that developers will try anything, in the expectation it will be waived through.’

Concerned residents can help ensure that does not happen in the Broughton Road case by objecting online HERE by 11 October.

7 Broughton Road