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New Norwich Morrisons store seeks longer opening hours

A computer generated image of the proposed new Morrisons store in Aylsham Road, Norwich.

A computer generated image of the proposed new Morrisons store in Aylsham Road, Norwich.

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Superstore giant Morrisons is hoping to be allowed to open a proposed new city store for longer, with a warning it could walk away from the site if councillors block its bid for extended hours.

Norwich City Council’s planning committee granted permission for the superstore - which would create 250 jobs - at the Goff Petroleum and former Hartwells Garage site at a meeting in February.

The store has yet to be built and applicant Michael Goff has approached the city council seeking permission to vary its opening hours.

It currently has permission to open to the public from 7am until 11pm Monday to Friday, from 9am until 6pm on Saturdays and from 10am until 5pm on Sundays and public holidays.

But the application is to allow the store to open an hour earlier in the week and from 6am until 11pm on Saturdays. Permission is also sought to change the hours deliveries can be made from 7am until 8pm on Monday to Saturdays to 4am to 11pm on those days and from 4am until 5pm, rather than 10am until 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

A letter sent to the council by agents Waterfront Developments, states: “As you might expect, the agreement between the parties states that if the store cannot operate efficiently and on terms with its competitors (such as Asda at Hellesdon) then Morrisons would have no alternative but to walk away from the site.

“Fundamental to this is their ability to offer attractive store opening hours and make deliveries to the store at operationally appropriate times.”

The city council has received two objections, including that 4am deliveries are too early and that extended hours will cause more congestion.

But officers are recommending that the planning committee agrees to the variation in opening hours when it meets next Thursday.

The bid to vary permission comes after Asda was given the go-ahead to make changes to the permission it had been granted for its superstore development at Hall Road.

The city council agreed to scrap a condition regarding community use for a gym on the site, for floorspace in the Asda to be slightly altered and to change the sub-division of shop units.
Morrisons is looking to open another Norwich store not far from the proposed Asda - next to the B&Q store further along Hall Road.
• Are you battling to try to stop a scheme near you from getting planning permission? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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