A Wilmslow supermarket has submitted a planning application to allow them to spread their deliveries throughout a full 24 hour period and undertake a limited number of night-time deliveries to their Wilmslow store.
Waitrose is seeking permission for the variation of Condition 1, attached to planning permission ref: 11/2210M, which means that at present deliveries are only allowed between the hours of 6am and 8pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10am and 6pm on Sundays.
Waitrose wishes to vary the condition to ensure that the store operates as efficiently as possible and is fully stocked at all times. They do not intend to increase the overall number of deliveries to the Church Street store, which will remain at around three deliveries on a typical trading day.
The application stated "These restrictions are proving to significantly constrain the efficiency of the store's operational management, which in turn, are negatively affecting the shopping experience of Waitrose customers.
"The store currently trades between 08:00 - 20:00 during the week (and until 21:00 on Fridays) and 10:00 - 16:00 on Sundays. However, the current delivery restrictions mean that only a very limited number of deliveries can be made to the store during a narrow time frame before the store opens in the mornings and no deliveries can be taken after the store closes – and indeed on a Friday, the store actually trades for an additional hour after deliveries are permitted.
"Waitrose Partners are therefore under extreme pressure each morning to move the perishable stock, from the delivery vehicles to the shop floor shelves in time to provide the early customers with the fresh produce they expect of a Waitrose store, and without obstructing the customers with stock trolleys.
"This results in a highly unsatisfactory situation, whereby customers undertaking their shopping when the store opens in the morning are not able to choose from and purchase the full selection of goods items available within the store. In addition, customers are being obstructed in the aisles by Partners stacking shelves and manoeuvring stock replenishment cages during trading hours."
Waitrose say increasing flexibility for their delivery hours will improve customers' shopping experience by improving the availability of fresh produce at the start of each day and reduce congestion on the sales floor during trading hours.
The application seeks to change Condition 1 which states "The servicing facilities at the store shall not be used for the loading and unloading of vehicles between the hours of 20.00 hours and 06.00 hours Monday to Saturday and 18.00 hours and 08.00 hours on Sundays and Public Holidays" to say "Deliveries shall be permitted throughout the day. No more than three deliveries to the store are allowed between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am day".
Planning permission was granted in May 1982 for the erection of a supermarket and included Condition 9 that restricted deliveries to 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Subsequently planning permission was granted in December 2005 to vary the condition to allow deliveries between 7am and 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am and 6pm Sundays and Public Holidays.
In 2011, following a 12 month temporary period during which no complaints were received, the delivery hours were extended to between 6am and 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am and 6pm on Sundays and Public Holidays.
The planning application can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 15/5842M . The last date for submitting comments is 4th February and a decision is expected by 17th February.