PEOPLE are protesting that shoppers at a £15m supermarket are disturbing the peace of their town centre cul-de-sac.

Managers at Asda's head office in Leeds are meeting this week to discuss complaints from people in Blackett Street, Bishop Auckland, who live only yards from the store's entrance on to Newgate Street.

A group of residents contacted councillors at the weekend to protest that drivers use the road outside their homes as an unofficial car park and taxis regularly drop off customers there.

They say that the noise from passing traffic and slamming doors is a constant nuisance during the day and until 10pm, when the store closes.

Yesterday, shoppers were using a small parking area at the end of the street, which was built by Asda for residents' use.

There are no signs warning off shoppers and Asda staff did not move them on.

The store's official car park is at the front of the development, in South Church Road, and access from Newgate Street is only for buses.

Brian Hall, who has lived in Blackett Street for more than 40 years, said that some proposals which had been submitted during the planning process had featured a three- metre high wall separating the homes from the development.

He said: "We have asked the council to investigate whether this can be built.

"It would stop these cars using our street and act as a sound barrier at the same time.

"Traffic is going past our homes during the day and night and shoppers are stopping us parking our own cars.

"We don't want any access to the store at all, even for pedestrians. This has always been a quiet street and we want it to stay that way."

A company spokesman said: "We are having internal meetings to discuss what can be done about these issues."

Margaret Jones, Wear Valley district councillor for the Bishop Auckland Town ward, is checking through planning documents.

She said: "This is a problem for residents and we are sympathetic."