Open for business …………

 3rd December 2012 – and the floodgates opened… not just customers; that was understandable as fuel was being advertised 5p cheaper than anywhere else, the torrent is of noise, disturbance, audible and visual intrusion – for example, even at 8pm to 9pm, cage trolleys moving shop to boundary area and vice versa, with delivery vans and lorries of various sizes, and the tannoy system in use minutes before midnight…

The following day (and for four more) this mobile video display - in all its glory –

Frequent Visitor (A)     Frequent Visitor (B)

- was a frequent visitor; needing several rest breaks between travelling around the local area to proclaim the new arrival...

 Each day, delivery lorries and vans come and go with the accompanying trolley shunting late into the evening; the shop remains busy with customers – even on foot - at 10.30, 11.00pm and later; the tannoy is very useful at times such as 10.30pm, 2.30 am, 3.35am on varying days, while it’s good to hear the refuse collection wagon at 3.45am….

Refuse Wagon

 ….But the condition attached to the planning permission states no collections, deliveries, waste collections, sales between 10pm and 7.00am… so? By the end of the month, it was now regular practice for vans and lorries to arrive at any time from about 6.00am to make deliveries – seven days a week -with all the concomitant noise of banging doors, platform hoists unfolding, trolley movements etc. – of course, the staff would have marshalled the empty trolleys earlier – anything from 11.00pm to 1.00am… One van was a frequent arrival around 5.00am, once at 4.10am!

White Van

 Fortunately, the overnight use of the tannoy had now ceased, after a neighbour visited and politely pointed out that not only were adults being disturbed, but also young children, and explained the possible consequences should the tannoy continue to be used at these times.

 Into January, and problems regarding congestion and manoeuvrability start to appear – on arriving, one tanker narrowly avoided hitting the boundary wall – this was to become an almost daily occurrence as the year progressed, while on either the 12th or 13th January, the timber compound (next to the boundary) was struck – by van, lorry, or tanker is not known - it leans even now!  However, as the weeks went by the regular early morning deliveries (and 3.30am-ish waste collections) continued, with the evening visits also moving toward midnight….


 ….But the condition attached to the planning permission states no collections, deliveries, waste collections, sales between 10pm and 7.00am… so?  So the late-night sales also continued, customers seen leaving with bags after midnight…

 Of course, before all these problems appeared, we had already contacted the Case Officer on 2nd December informing him of the discrepancies between the final approved plans and actual work carried out and requesting that inspections be carried out – it was to be five weeks – and only after a reminder - before we received a reply! This informed us that the enforcement officer had visited the site, and apart from just one point that was 18 inches closer to the boundary than specified, he was satisfied with all aspects – construction, operations, compliance – of the development. In ‘follow-up’ communications with the enforcement office where I supplied numerous measurements, dates, times and pictures of discrepancies and activities mentioned, he “noted” them, divulged that the plans he had did not display measurements (rendering comparison impossible?) and stating that he would have to rely on details that the residents provided, as the enforcement department is a part time service and due to the requirements of other duties and locations, he could only make observations “where possible”. It is in these communications where the Enforcement Officer stated that he had instructed Asda to insert his measurements on their plans – which resulted in irregular boundary lines being drawn. This clearly demonstrates that factual data was deliberately distorted and misrepresented in order to avoid action against Asda.

 As the residents and local Councillors were now closely scrutinising and highlighting every fault and error that arose, the planning department were eventually forced to require Asda to submit another application (79970/FULL/2013) seeking retrospective permission to retain the incorrect works that had been carried out. This was submitted on 22nd January 2013. Now compare certain details on this application with those previously provided in earlier applications (see page 9) -

10. Vehicle parking is stated to be – 

Type of vehicle

Existing number of spaces

Total proposed (including spaces retained)

Difference in spaces





Light goods vehicles/public carrier vehicles








Disability spaces




Cycle spaces




Other (e.g. Bus)




Short description of Other


 In actual fact there are SEVEN car spaces, one of which is designated for use with the car vacuum unit, water and air supply, and ONE Disability space – this anomaly – false data – has been repeatedly queried by residents, and the planning office has repeatedly failed to answer.

 15. Trees and hedges on site? – Yes; …Might be important as part of the local landscape character? – No….

This is semi-correct - that shrubbery that was important as a protective buffer zone has now been destroyed, while a hedge does (still!) exist that forms the boundary for three houses….

 19. Employment – Existing, 3 full-time, 0 part-time; proposed, 3 full-time, 0 part-time…..

Completely, utterly and demonstrably untrue – at this time, as for the last 25 years and more, this petrol station has operated 24 hours a day. Staff are known by sight to the residents, and it is known that many more staff are employed – both full time and part time.

 While no plans submitted in the applications over the last two years have correctly and accurately depicted the site and all buildings and works, the proposed site plan drawing lifted this application to an unheralded level of notoriety, misrepresentation and deceit in that to accommodate the measurement supplied by the enforcement officer to Asda, the straight boundary line between the site and Glenthorn Grove properties is shown as a zigzag line!

 Prior to this latest application, in an attempt to initiate more positive action, on 2nd January I had written via Royal Mail a letter personally addressed to the C.E.O. of Asda, Mr. Andy Clarke, highlighting the problems that existed at that time – unfortunately, to this day neither I nor anyone else (including Councillors and our Member of Parliament) who have later written to him have ever received a response. On every occasion, the response has been from a manager of some description, in the great majority being the ‘Senior Properties Communications Manager’, Mr. Philip Bartram. In the first instance, Mr. Bartram telephoned on 9th January and arranged a meeting at my house for the following day. On both 9th and 10th, groups of people were noted inspecting, discussing and taking pictures of the lockers and the immediate vicinity. Mr. Bartram duly arrived on the 10th, with our Councillor and neighbours from two other houses attending. At this meeting, the major emphasis of discussion was on the errors that had occurred in the building work, the problems of service vehicles’ parking, and (a serious concern) privacy and security failings caused by the existing difference in ground levels, now exacerbated by the destruction and removal of the landscaped buffer zone. Both then and at subsequent meetings and in numerous communications, we were assured by Mr. Bartram that all drivers would be and had been instructed/ordered to park away from the boundary – although the larger wagons now (with the odd exception) -


  - stay at a reasonable distance, even now the vans still huddle close to the wall….. 


  Following the meeting on 10th January, numerous communications passed between residents, Councillors, the planning department and Asda, which resulted in some further amendments and clarifications, which were included in application. 79970/FULL/2013. As we residents were vehemently opposed to this attempt by Asda to “get away with” the damage caused by their uncaring and overbearing attitude, it was decided that in addition to our written objections, one of the residents would speak at the meeting of the Planning and Development Committee. An invitation was also made to the Chair of the Planning Committee to visit my house to view the site and how it affected the local residents, as a result of which on 14th March, the Chair, Vice-Chair and Chief Planning Officer first visited the petrol station and then came to my house to view from both upstairs and downstairs.

The PDC meeting also took place on the evening of the 14th, and several Councillors stated that they had also visited the site and considered the magnitude of the development to be unsuitable in such a location, noting the detrimental impact on the local properties. Chair also stated her extreme concern regarding the dangerous practices onsite, where inflammable waste was stacked up by the boundary wall, blocking a fire exit door and route at the same time. It was pointed out to the Committee that although Asda had repeatedly suggested increasing the height of the boundary wall and/or planting high bushes or trees, this was most definitely not wanted; rather that the wrongly concreted areas be cut back and a wider landscaped area with low but wide shrubbery be planted there, both for privacy and security. However, the Chief Planning officer reiterated his strong recommendation to approve the application and suggested the planting of mature trees as a screen. Despite one Councillor’s astute question as to how these would be planted in solid concrete, and following a defeated motion for deferment, the application was approved by the casting of the Chair’s deciding vote. We were of course promised that we would be consulted by Asda and the Planning Department in all subsequent items relating to the application.

 Approval included the following –

 Condition 4 be replaced with the following landscaping conditions:

            (a) ……The revised details shall provide for mature shrub and tree planting to screen the site, including the presence of delivery vehicles, storage trolleys and refuse from the residential properties to the north east of the site; ……... Details shall also be provided as to the height to which the shrub and tree screen to the properties bounding the site shall be subsequently maintained.

             (b) …..

             (c) The tree and shrub screen to the properties bounding the site to the east and north east shall thereafter be retained at the height agreed under part (a) of this condition.

             (d) ……..

             Reason:  To ensure that the site is satisfactorily landscaped having regard to its location and the nature of the proposed development and having regard to Policies L4, L7, R2 and R3 of the Trafford Core Strategy and Policies DP2, DP7 and EM1 of the Revised Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS published 2008).

 Note that the emboldened items are in direct opposition to the clear and oft-repeated wishes of the residents, and grant complete control of these items to Asda. That such conditions be imposed is a direct and studied slap in the face of the residents by the Chief Planning Officer, and indicates an act of revenge for challenging his recommendation.


Previous page        Next page