It is likely to be a several weeks before the Co-op returns to early morning opening – at 6am Monday to Saturday and 7am on Sunday. Current planning permission for the store restricts opening time to 7am, 8am on Sunday. Midcounties Co-op will need to apply for new planning permission before the opening hours can be extended.
It is pretty unbelievable that Midcounties Co-op did not know it needed planning permission to extend its hours.
This sudden restriction of hours has created real confusion in the mornings. Motorists are queuing up to fuel their cars well before the petrol filling station and store opens.
Customers wait for the Co-op to open on Sunday morning
In 2004, the store and petrol filling station were granted outline planning permission, with a restriction in opening hours of 7am to 9pm on Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 9pm on Sundays (SS/1/04/16275/O). In June 2010, Harry Tuffins was granted permission to open from 7am to 11pm Mondays on Saturdays and 8am to 10pm on Sundays (10/01182/VAR). This was for a trial period of one year, to allow the impact on neighbouring properties to be monitored. During the trial, a noise impact survey found the nearest residential property experienced an increase of no more than 3 decibels.
In November 2011, an application was made to make these hours permanent (11/04941/VAR). There were no objections to the application. Shropshire Council granted permission saying it was satisfied that “the permanent extension of hours as proposed will not have a detrimental impact on the amenities of local residents.”
Several months ago, Midcounties Co-op started opening an hour earlier in the mornings, breeching the planning permission. Last Friday, it suddenly returned to permitted hours.
This is the only petrol station in town and the sooner it gets back to opening from six in the morning, the better. The Co-op will need to submit a planning application, which means it could be two months before we see a return to extended hours.
More than ever, Ludlow needs a second petrol station in the town.
Outline planning permission has been given for a petrol filling station at Rocks Green. It will be a while before this facility opens. A retailer needs to identified and full planning permission obtained. I’d be surprised if it opened within two years, and it might take three or four years.
Work on the proposed filling station on the junction of Bromfield Road and Coronation Avenue is expected to begin in the summer, with a view to opening early next year.
Update 26 March 2017
The store has now submitted a planning application to open from 6am to 11am Monday to Sunday (17/01176/VAR). If approved, the store could return to early opening before the end of April.