A rural car dealership has been given a temporary reprieve as councillors stall enforcement to remove it from the site.

Matthew Pitt wanted to sell vehicles from a new business based at his home close to the River Yare in Langley, near Loddon.

While councillors on South Norfolk Council (SNC) did not want to drive him out of business they agreed with officers who said the plans were in an inappropriate location and failed to meet policies covering countryside employment.

The car dealership has already started operating from the site.

Matthew Pitt, the applicant, told Wednesday's SNC development committee there are a number of businesses in the local area and did not believe there would be an issue.

He said: "The plan for the business to be at home was only ever temporary but unfortunately with the current economic climate, which I could not foresee, I have been there longer than I expected."

Mr Pitt said since becoming aware of the planning requirements he has tried to meet officers' concerns, including introducing restricted opening hours and lowering the number of vehicles on site.

He added it was a small family-run business, which he operates with his wife and father, and warned that he currently would not be able to support the business off site.

Vic Thomson, the chairman of the development committee, asked SNC officers if there was a way to give a temporary reprieve for the business.

Eastern Daily Press: Vic Thomson, Conservative councillor and South Norfolk planning committee chairman. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Vic Thomson, Conservative councillor and South Norfolk planning committee chairman. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives. (Image: Norfolk Conservatives)

Planning officer Tracey Lincoln said to meet council policy they would not be able to give a short term approval but could include a delay in enforcement for a specified period. This would give Mr Pitt time to find a new site.

Councillors said they wanted to support businesses settling on an 18-month delay to enforcement while unanimously rejecting the application.

The dealership is not open to casual passers-by, with viewing by appointment only. This aims to help reduce the number of people travelling to the site.

Mr Pitt told the committee most of his sales came from online views.

The applicant estimates between 10 and 14 vehicle sales per month.