A bid by the National Trust to install a food truck in a beauty spot has been blocked by councillors, who questioned the necessity when there was already a café metres away. 

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has roundly rejected plans submitted by the Trust for a food van on the quay at Morston, a small coastal village best known for its seal boat trips.  

The National Trust (NT) wanted to keep the structure in place for 56 days a year, covering the school holidays when the site is busiest.

But NNDC’s planning committee members questioned the need, pointing out that the Trust already has a café just 15 metres away from where it wants to put the van. 

Mike Hankins, councillor for Stibbard, said: “There is already room in the café not being fully utilized, now why on earth are they looking to put a van a few feet away?

“I don’t understand the need.” 

NNDC officials explained that NT - which did not have a representative speaking at Thursday’s meeting - wanted it because they had received complaints of slow service from the existing café. 

Angie Fitch-Tillet, councillor for Poppyland, argued the organisation could just put more staff in its existing facility.

“They’ve got a building there, let them use it properly fully and do without the blot on the landscape,” she said.

Members of the committee and the public also raised concerns about the visual impact of the plans, with the site being on the edge of a specially protected area. 

Kim Toye, councillor for Beeston Regis, said: “Areas such as Morston Quay should be maintained as an area for wildlife, we should not consider these areas as an attraction for us or as a playground,” she said. 

She argued it would harm the appearance of the landscape and have an “adverse effect” on a designated site. 

The scheme was rejected with one vote for, 11 votes against and two abstentions. 

While the application was rejected, NT has 'permitted development rights', which means it can legally park the van there for 28 days a year.