Plans for a major expansion of a trail-blazing farm have been delayed over traffic fears, with one councillor branding highways officials “idiots”. 

Wild Ken Hill has applied to convert existing farm buildings to create the centre, cafe, retail space and an indoor play building. 

It also wants a 10-yurt glamping pitch, on the site between Heacham and Snettisham

West Norfolk Council’s planning committee raised concerns about the scheme’s impact on local roads, despite Norfolk County Council’s Highways Authority insisting the impact would "not be severe”. 

Wild Ken Hill has been made famous after hosting BBC’s Autumnwatch and is intended to be an “exemplar” of green tourism. 

Councillor Terry Parish questioned if highways officers had used the roads, with a new entrance to the site planned for Lamsey Lane, which joins onto the busy A149

Eastern Daily Press: Terry ParishTerry Parish (Image: (C) ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016)

He said: “If they had they would not have recommended no improvements for this junction for this development, it’s absolutely ludicrous. 

“Heacham residents, in this particular case, feel that highways officers are idiots.” 

Vivienne Spikings, the committee chairwoman, ordered Mr Parish to retract the word “idiot”, which he did but said he was quoting residents. 

Liz Poole, a County Hall highways officer, said the authority is content with the work that has been done and work is underway to make improvements for Lamsey Lane, including a new roundabout on the A149. 

Eastern Daily Press: Vivinenne SpikingsVivinenne Spikings (Image: © Archant Norfolk 2014)

Ms Poole said traffic surveys showed there was capacity for additional traffic and officials did not believe the impact of the development would be "severe". 

Mr Parish called for the application to be deferred until June for the committee to get more information about traffic improvements.

The delay was approved eight votes for, seven against and two abstained. 

A connected scheme for a campsite with 20 caravan pitches and 40 tent pitches off Lamsey Lane at Heacham was also deferred. 

Dominic Buscall, Wild Ken Hill project manager, said: “We are naturally disappointed with the deferral, we were very eager to get on and start delivering this excellent scheme.

"However, we do welcome the many positive comments from councillors at the committee about our work to date and plans for the future, and we remain confident of a positive decision in two months’ time”.