Go-ahead for Lidl extension in North Walsham - but not if it turns white

Lidl at North Walsham. Picture: ALEX HURRELL

Lidl at North Walsham. Picture: ALEX HURRELL - Credit: Archant

Lidl has been given the conditional go-ahead to extend its supermarket in North Walsham - but only if the firm agrees not to cover the current red bricks with a white finish.

North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) planning councillors believe white would be out of keeping with the nearby Conservation Area and, in the words of North Walsham member Vivienne Uprichard, the finish would be: 'an open invitation to graffiti artists.'

NNDC's development committee unanimously approved the Yarmouth Road store's application, subject to conditions recommended in an officers' report covering hedging, fencing, time limits for deliveries and store opening, and provision of cycle parking.

If Lidl do not agree to the added condition, about keeping the red bricks, the application will be reconsidered by the committee.

The plan would see a front extension into the car park, and a rear extension using parts of the gardens of numbers two and three Farman Avenue. Lidl is also negotiating with Norfolk County Council to buy part of its fire station land, adjoining the car park.

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Members heard that the plan represented an investment of more than £1m in the store and would create three extra jobs. The store size would increase by 249sq m to 1,056sq m.

Yarmouth Road neighbour Edward Joyce spoke against the plan at the meeting. His objections included the white render, noise nuisance and he warned of an increase in existing traffic congestion around the store, plus more shoppers parking in Farman Avenue.

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Lidl wants to cover the bricks in a white render, matching its sister store in Cromer.

But North Walsham councillor Peter Moore said: 'Retailers all want to put their stamp on their stores - they have all got to be the same - but I think local character is important. This is just across the road from the Conservation Area - I can't accept this.'

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