…or “location” – is how Asda prefer to describe their “Click and Collect” lockers….. the first two lockers were delivered and installed on 15th December, two more on 21st, and the remaining four on 11th January. These lockers – 8.5m X 1m X 2.25m (28ft long X 3¼ft deep X 7½ ft high) now loom over the boundary wall. Each and every day, at least three delivery vans dedicated solely to these lockers arrive to fill and/or remove baskets from these lockers – each time, the van is parked close to the boundary; and there is the noise of van doors/shutters, empty boxes dropped or thrown….
While we residents were concerned on seeing collection lockers included in application 78835, expressing our concern in our written objections, it was not until the actual installation that the full effects were realised. In addition to those listed above, there has been an increase of customer vehicles parking just the other side of the boundary wall – while cars can rarely be seen over the wall (despite the higher ground level), the opening and closing of doors and boots can clearly be heard, together with engine noise. Another more unpleasant problem is that fuel customers or passers-by have been seen using the area – and the lockers themselves – as urinals…. These points were also raised in objections to application 79970, in communications with Asda and Councillors, and at the PDC meeting, but to no avail.
Following the PDC meeting, an onsite meeting took place on 28th March between the Case Officer, Philip Bartram, other Asda representatives and “consultants”. My wife, a neighbour and I then joined the meeting and at this time we learned that these lockers had been “trialled” here, and were being installed nationwide. We pointed out the unsuitability of such lockers in a residential area, and specifically so close to houses, and therefore requested Asda that the lockers be removed. The initial response was that these had been successful, and while the matter would be raised and considered as to its feasibility, these would almost certainly remain.
At another meeting on 25 April at my house, Mr. Bartram produced proposed minor modifications to site parking areas, but also stated that it was not Asda’s intention to remove the lockers as “..they form an integral part of our customer offer at this store…” and were installed in other similar locations. I therefore later checked Asda’s on-line facility, and found FIVE click and collect locations within a forty-mile radius – but none utilised lockers. At a further meeting at my house on 24th May, on being questioned on this point, once again Mr. Bartram insisted these lockers were installed at several locations, naming Doncaster as an example. Again using Asda’s on-line facility, together with Google Streetview, I checked every location listed in the United Kingdom. There are ninety-six such collection points – only five locations are NOT superstores, and Sale petrol station is the ONLY one with lockers. On 30th July, I spoke to a member of Asda’s engineering department who – with three consultants (manufacturers’ staff?) were examining and discussing the lockers. When directly asked how where else had these lockers, he categorically stated that this was the only place, and that they were currently being trialled and assessed on their effectiveness and suitability for further implementation.
I have now asked Mr. Bartram twice for a list of all click and collect points provided by Asda; having been told that he would need to check whether it was possible or suitable (!) for one to be provided, I am still awaiting this list – even after asking how customers may learn of these locations. Similarly, requests for a list of lockers’ locations have also been ignored. Our Councillors have also joined in our requests that these lockers be removed, but again received the stock answer from Mr. Bartram, that “they form an integral part….”. Our Member of Parliament has also written to Andy Clarke, but he also has failed to receive a direct reply, being “stonewalled” by Mr. Bartram with the now-standard response.
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