Asda loses its appeal over air handling unit at Berwick store

Asda has lost a planning appeal after an inspector ruled that a piece of equipment at its Berwick store is having ‘significant detrimental impact’ on nearby residents.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 11:00 am
Asda Tweedmouth. Picture from Google.
Asda Tweedmouth. Picture from Google.

In November 2019, Northumberland County Council refused to grant retrospective planning application for an air handling unit in the service yard due to concerns over noise disturbing neighbours of the site in Tweedmouth.

Asda subsequently appealed the decision, but it was recently dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

The inspector, Mr M Brooker, stated the following: “I am not satisfied that the evidence before me demonstrates that the appeal scheme would not have a significant detrimental impact on the living conditions of the occupiers nearby.

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“Since the submission of the appeal, the production of a new local plan has progressed, with the Publication of Inspectors' Report on 16 February 2022. I therefore afford Policy QOP2 of the emerging Northumberland Local Plan (eNLP) some weight.

“The policy seeks to ensure that development would not result in unacceptable adverse impacts on the amenity of neighbouring land.”

Local county councillor Georgina Hill has welcomed this decision, saying: “There is a concentrated, irritating humming noise affecting a few properties in a particularly unacceptable way – meaning, for example, that some residents have to keep windows closed even in the summer.

“I think people will find it reassuring that the corporations do not always just get their way in the end. I was pleased that the inspector was suitably sceptical and savvy in relation to the purported evidence put forward by the appellant regarding the sound levels.

“I hope Asda will now spend a bit of money on an acoustic barrier or other noise protection system and put this right.”

She added: “Apart from this noise issue, I am very glad we have an Asda store serving Tweedmouth and the wider area.

“They have supported a number of community initiatives and donated a large amount of water during Storm Arwen, the remainder of which has been sent to Ukraine.”

Asda has been contacted by the Gazette for comment.