TESCO has once again been criticised for keeping neighbours awake on hot summer nights after installing cooling equipment without permission.

The supermarket giant applied to Tendring Council for retrospective permission for the CO2 gas coolers at its Tesco Express store in High Street, Manningtree, earlier this year.

The application was rejected when it went before the council’s planning committee.

A second application, which includes plans for a screening fence and acoustic wall and fence lining, was also unanimously rejected on Tuesday.

Nearby resident Mandy Rose spoke at the meeting on behalf of more than 30 residents in Stour Street and St Michael’s Court, including families, the elderly and vulnerable residents.

“All of them have been impacted by the air-cooling unit, which is the size of a large transit van,” she said.

“The noise it emits is both variable and intermittent.

“And when the booster kicks in on a warm night it wakes myself and my husband, our lodgers and their child, as well as other residents.

“Although the first application for retrospective permission was turned down, we are at present suffering a second summer of disruption to our lives.”

She called for a “more costly” 360-degree cover to be installed to stop noise from emanating from the fans on the top of the unit.

“I’m sure if it was sited in Lavenham or Chelsea, Tesco would be made to spend the money, so why not in beautiful Manningtree?” she added.

Ward councillor Alan Coley said the rear of the store is overwhelmingly residential and incorporates ancient dwellings in a narrow section of a Conservation Area.

He added: “This huge, ugly and noisy consumer unit installed by Tesco without planning permission is disproportionately and negatively affecting the immediate neighbours.”

He said the resubmitted plan for a “shed with holes in it” is not adequate to stop residents from suffering interrupted sleep in hot summer months, when the unit is loudest.

A spokesman for Tesco said the application would not cause an unacceptable adverse impact on the appearance of the conservation area and that the unit was “essential” to the operation of the store.

Councillor Peter Harris said the resubmitted plan was “half-baked” and not acceptable to residents.