Wake-up noise angers residents

Jempson's in Rye

Residents living near the Jempson’s car park in Crown Fields by Rye Station have had enough of being woken up by noisy 5am deliveries and are forming an action group to put an end to the nuisance.

The supermarket gets a delivery every morning and staff seem resistant to keeping the noise down while unloading large lorries. A driver who was approached by a local complainant earlier this week refused point blank to apologise or show any consideration for nearby neighbours.

“The guy just stood there defiantly and shrugged, with no attempt to say sorry for waking everyone up,” said one resident. “He just carried on banging and clattering stuff around. It sounds as if he is actually throwing heavy boxes around inside the truck. You can imagine how the noise reverberates around the walls of the truck.”

The Cinque Ports Street Action Committee is now preparing a strong letter of complaint to Jempson’s management. One member of the committee said: “We understand Jempson’s is a business and the supermarket needs to be re-stocked. But why can’t these drivers be more considerate to local neighbours? Surely a bit more care and attention to handling goods can be achieved?”.

Image Credits: J.minter .


  1. There was a Tesco near my home in London & unloading took place at 5a.m. 6 days a week. After a great deal of lobbying and correspondence, (it was only writing to the MD that anything began to change) Tesco was not permitted to unload by Westminster CC before 7 a.m., plus putting rubber mats on the pavement to absorb the noise of the tailgate hitting the road. I‘m not sure what the rules are when it is not a public highway, though it is likely to be a statuary nuisance so worth contacting Rother. The council was very helpful about another local noise issue.

  2. 1. Were you resident in your home before the supermarket occupied the site? if you moved in when it was already operating due diligence might have flagged up the possibility of noise.
    2. Are you happy to tolerate empty supermarket shelves in the morning because deliveries have been put back to later in the day, and more truck traffic on the road between 9-5?
    3. Unloading trucks is not like putting bags of shopping in car, pallets and metal cages are heavy and likely to be loud when moved – it’s noisy for the drivers too. Manual workers don’t have to spend their lives apologising to these comfortably retired or doing office jobs from home. The’ve kept Rye residents supplied with food throughout the pandemic at increased risk to their own health.

  3. It wasn’t that long ago when everyone was singing the praises of Jempsons, now they’re the villains, you just can’t please some people and just out of interest have you seen the size of the trucks and the chaos they cause when they deliver when the shop is open.

  4. Quite right Dave spot on
    Sorry about your disturbed sleep but it’s the sign of the times, ok some lorry drivers should be more considerate but I would imagine he wasn’t making the noise deliberately.
    In the 70 & 80 milkmen was up about at 4 am loading and delivering milk you could hear the metal and sometimes plastic crates and glass bottles rattling from one street to another street in rye, the milk floats were run by an electric motor every time you put foot on the accelerator pedal a burring noise was created sending out more noise but not once was I told about the noise that I made , it was part of everyday living now milkmen are nearly extinct if ever I created noise it was never meant
    Customers had there early morning cups of tea or coffee with fresh milk or cream.

  5. Dear All
    Thank you for all your comments and the article by David Cracknell.
    We have investigated this at store level and we are currently unaware of any local complaints regarding noise. The last recorded incident goes back over 5 years ago.
    I would be quite happy to investigate further if the complainants or David wishes to contact me via mail@jempsons.com Failing that, I know the store manager would reach out to any neighbours that wish to speak to him direct in the store. Rest assured we will endeavour to take fully take into account any concerns they have. With best wishes to all
    Stephen J

  6. Vic mentioned milkmen which prompted my response. We’ve had Milk and More deliveries, around 4am I guess, for a couple of years and haven’t heard a thing.
    Possibly they are electric vans or maybe the drivers are just more considerate.

  7. Hi Stephen,
    I live on Cinque Ports Street and I have found in the last month there has been increasing noise from 5am in the morning directly from jempsons deliveries. I have to say this never happened before Christmas or earlier so. I would appreciate it if this could be reviewed with the minimum of inconvenience to everyone involved. The residents in the area already have to brace themselves for the upcoming building and noise that is due to take place on the old school site that received planning permission recently. I’m sure you can appreciate people’s concerns.

    • Thanks Maura,
      I agree. It has recently become an issue. We’ve lived in our place for six years and learned to live with Friday/Saturday nights at the Crown Inn.
      This banging and crashing around at 5am IS a NEW problem. I’ve never been troubled before. And, as one of our other neighbours agrees, it is only going to get worse when the summer weather comes and we have windows open at night.
      In other parts of the country some councils have enforced noise nuisance orders on supermarkets. Day deliveries please!
      And “Dave”, sorry we are not all ‘hardened sons-of-the-soil’ workers. And we are not all pensioners; home workers have a right to a restful night’s sleep like anyone else – so we can run our businesses, employ people and pay lots of corporation tax to keep the economy moving as well.

  8. I couldn’t agree more Dave Young! And thank you Stephen for being straight on it saying for those concerned please contact Jempsons direct! Maybe things can then be tweaked a little to help those who live locally! I am a very light sleeper and normally am woken by the sound of birdsong around 5.30 am at the moment and I too work full time but look at it that spring is on its way! Perhaps we could just appreciate for a second that Jempsons is providing food for us all, the staff are putting themselves at risk every day and the store is doing a lot for the community too!

  9. In many countries such as Japan, and many busy cities such as New York and LA, supermarket and large store deliveries are made at night. Not so much due to noise issues, but so large lorries are not clogging up the roads and being a danger to others. In London a huge number of cyclists are killed by large lorries, and traffic is held up by lorries unloading and buses not being able to pass by. That could be stopped immediately if lorries only delivered to stores at night or early morning, yet nothing is done. I accept Rye is different, but I do notice the huge Jempson’s lorries causing issues on the roads and many are so wide they partly go over to the other side of the road, which is a bit scary when you’re in your car and you see one coming towards you. And I suspect many pedestrians fear for their lives when they see lorries around Fishmarket Road, the roundabout, and onto Rye Hill and other areas with tight corners. Obviously our small roads were never meant for such lorries, however we need them for deliveries. But what a huge difference it could make if deliveries were made early to late evening ? After all, Jempson’s Rye is open until 10pm. Would it be so difficult for supermarket deliveries to be made from around 6pm to 10pm ? If there’s a good reason why that’s not possible, I would appreciate hearing it.

  10. One reason the lorries go through Rye is because a by pass was shelved in the 80’s because no one could agree where to put it, a very short sighted and selfish action by those who didn’t want to look at it.
    I’ve noticed that even now there was a comment asking where a by pass could go.
    A lot of the problems in South Undercliff and Fish Market Road could be alleviated by banning parking at all times.
    Of course another solution would have been to build a super market out of town before Jempsons went big and monopolies it, another short sighted action that went against the wishes of many people.
    Rye does seem to have a habit of bolting the stable door too late………..

  11. How one must agree with Tony Edwards, we were denied a bypass by the Nimbys, denied a supermarket, thanks too incompetent councils.Looking back over the history of Rye and seeing what the town has been denied over the years, some for better,others for worse,he is quite right the stable door has been bolted, and sadly as more development and traffic smothers the town, its no good moaning,the damage has been done.

  12. Think of Northern Ireland and no Kosher food available. I must thank Jempsons for their heroic efforts in keeping us so well provided for!Perhaps ear plugs might be a possibility or earphones attached to favourite music and news!?

  13. I’m very happy to say that, thanks to Stephen Jemspon and his team, this issue has now been dealt with. The delivery firm is a sub-contractor DHL.
    Thank you Stephen and team for responding so effectively. Credit where credit is due.
    Happy Easter All!


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