WAITROSE has apologised after a number of residents complained of excessive light from their car park.

The supermarket chain said it was "sorry" for the disturbance, which has seen the whole area lit up "like a football stadium" according to one resident.

The lights were recently installed in the car park for "safety reasons" but have instead come under fire from residents who say it is disturbing their sleep and too bright.

One resident said the lights were becoming intolerable, and sent leaflets out to neighbours about the situation.

In the messages, she said: "I live on the Worcester Road and my property is quite badly affected by the new LED white lights that have recently been installed in the Waitrose Car Park.

"Waitrose are meeting with the contractors to discuss possible solutions to reduce the glare and sign the job off.

"I have been told they are not hopeful a solution will be found as the lighting in the car park needs to be brighter for safety reasons.

"As the days get lighter the problem will not be noticed quite as much but I fear if something is not done now, we could regret it later in the year.

"Also, this store could have extended opening hours in the future which would make the situation even worse."

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: "I'm shocked to see the brightness of these lights.

"My key concern is that for wildlife. These lights will have immediately had a detrimental impact on the local bat population. They are interfering with their roosting and hunting.

"For roosts in the immediate area that is a wildlife crime under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

"Owls will also be impacted. Did Waitrose not consider an environmental impact?

"Secondly light pollution is shown to have a detrimental impact on humans and these are undoubtedly disturbing and harmful to local residents.

"Thirdly they are not in keeping with historic Malvern and are detrimental to the Conservation Areas."

These concerns were echoed by Priory Ward councillor Beverley Nielsen, who went down to the store to speak to manager James Alldridge.

She said: "As a district council we are concerned about light pollution, but we’re also concerned about the safety and security of our residents too.

"Having met and spoken with James Alldridge, Manager, Waitrose Malvern, he's highlighted to me that he's improved lighting in the car park for two reasons - improving energy efficiency and in response to concerns over safety and security raised with him by customers and residents.

"However, since improving the lighting he has also received complaints about the increased intensity of the lights in the car park.

"He's informed me now that his contractors will be coming back this week and he will be looking to see if he's able to find the right balance between both sets of concerns - safety and light pollution.

"He will be considering options such as whether a film could be placed around the lights to dim them.

"Having spoken with James Alldridge as Manager at Waitrose, I’m pleased he’s responded to my concerns and those of other residents regarding the intensity of lighting in the car park.

"It is good to know he’s taking prompt action in looking to adjust the levels of lighting that have resulted in recent complaints."

As a result of the complaints, a Waitrose spokesman apologised, saying discussions were ongoing to find a solution.

They said: "We're really sorry to hear of these concerns. The lights, which are there to help our customers and Partners safely navigate the car park, are always switched off at 10pm until we open in the morning, however we're looking into this as a matter of urgency to see if we can address these concerns."

It is understood both Worcestershire Regulatory Services and Malvern Hills District Council have been in touch with Waitrose about the issue.

Phil Merrick, responsible for Worcestershire Regulatory Services for Malvern Hills District Council, said: "We have received complaints regarding light from Waitrose Car park affecting nearby properties. We are currently investigating the matter.

"If the light is found to be causing a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 then we will work with Waitrose to resolve the matter in the first instance."