August 1 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Plans for a bigger Lidl store in North Walsham were given the go ahead today after councillors voted to approve the application.
Despite concerns about the limited car parking at the store, North Norfolk District councillors accepted the recommendation to delegate approval to the head of planning.
The German retailer had applied for permission to knock down the existing building, increasing the sales area by 479sq m to 1,286 sq m.
It said this was to provide more space for fresh produce, while allowing customers more space to move around the store.
The application outlines space for 76 for cars, almost half of the 154 needed to fully comply with council regulations.
And councillors speaking at today’s meeting said parking at the store on Yarmouth Road was already difficult.
District councillor for North Walsham Peter Moore said as a regular user, he knew how difficult it could be to get in and out of the car park and find somewhere to park.
He said: “I would like to defer this and get it sorted. It is more important to get it right than to get it quick.”
Councillors had also criticised the store’s wedge-like design, similar to the store in Cromer, which had been amended slightly to provide more focus at the entrance.
The larger store will provide an extra five full and part time jobs and officers said it could encourage more people to come to the town.
Robert Beaumont, speaking for Lidl, said the supermarket chain was hoping to extend the car park in the future, and that since a new store had opened in Cromer, regular customers had switched their shopping location.
He said work could begin in July this year, with the store reopening in December or January.
The application was approved subject to conditions, which included appropriate Environmental Health conditions and any other issues raised following consultations.