Aldi in Selsdon breached licence by opening until 10pm
A BUDGET supermarket chain has been illegally staying open until 10pm since Christmas.
Aldi, in Addington Road, Selsdon, has extended its closing time, even though its licence agreement with the council only allows it to open until 8pm.
Selsdon councillor Sara Bashford says the licensing breach shows the German chain "doesn't really care about the community".
Cllr Bashford was alerted to the issue after a resident contacted her to say they had seen the store was still open at 10pm.
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She told the Advertiser: "When Aldi came to Selsdon in 2006 they held a meeting and told us they would be a part of the community; they acted like they were going to be our best friends.
"I still don't have any objections to having an Aldi here but they have done a lot of little things like this that show they don't really care about our community.
"They didn't have permission to put up their big illuminated signs which disrupt residents' lives, and they didn't have permission to start a car-washing business in their car park but they did that anyway too.
"It would seem that once they got permission to open here, they didn't care about Selsdon after that."
Croydon Council's planning enforcement team visited the store after Cllr Bashford alerted them to the situation.
She also explained that to open later, the branch had to seek permission from the local authority, because a clause had been attached to its original consent, which limited the hours of opening from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
Aldi has now put in a formal application to open later during the week (until 10pm) as well as extend opening hours to 5pm on a Sunday.
Paul Terry, owner of Gardencraft, in Addington Road, has hit out at Aldi and agrees this shows its disregard for the local community.
He said: "They're very good at saying everything you want to hear, and then just not doing it. They told me they didn't sell plants or flowers because that would obviously affect my business, but they do.
"I also asked the manager to close the car park in the evenings because a lot of young kids go there and cause a lot of noise. He closed it at first but now it's just left open.
"I think if I'd known how they were going to act I wouldn't have supported them coming to Selsdon."
An Aldi spokesman confirmed that it had now applied to the council to extend its opening hours.
He added: "This will make our trading hours even more convenient for customers who appreciate brand-like quality products at low prices."
To comment on Aldi's application, write to Planning and Environment Department, Croydon Council, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1JT or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org