Plans passed to create Cromer’s fifth supermarket

Cromer will become home to a fifth supermarket after plans were passed to build a new Lidl superstore on the outskirts of town.

The German discount chain was given the green light today to build a new 1,467 square metre branch on the site of the BP filling station in Holt Road.

But members of North Norfolk District Council's planning committee could not answer campaigners' calls for Lidl to stump up the cash for an 'urgently' needed footbridge over the A148.

Cromer Town Council along with residents group Steps for Safety asked that Lidl build the footbridge as part of the obligatory contribution it will make to the community via section 106 monies.

But members were warned they should not impose this condition as the burden of the much needed footbridge does not lay with Lidl, and should instead be provided by the county council.

Speaking during today's planning meeting Roger Howe, the council's legal manager, said: 'I have very considerable sympathy for people who use the existing bridge but having said that, is this something that can be addressed by 106 obligations?

'I have to say I think the answer is no, regrettably.'

Most Read

Keith Johnson, member for Cromer, agreed it was not up to Lidl to solve any of the town's traffic problems but said he would 'press' Norfolk County Council further over provision of the footbridge, and his fellow committee members agreed to support him on this by taking a motion to the next full council meeting.

Robert Beaumont, representing Lidl, told the committee shoppers had welcomed the supermarket's plans to open in Cromer and the new store would boost the economy by creating 40 full and part time jobs. And although it would not be contributing to the footbridge he said Lidl will build a new pedestrian crossing over the A148 near the new store.

Mr Johnson, in supporting the plans, added: 'The present garage employs five members of staff; Lidl will be employing 40. This application ticks all the boxes and encourages further investment in Cromer.'

Members passed the plans with conditions including restrictions to delivery times and satisfactory landscaping. Lidl must also agree that if it sells the site it will go to a similar retailer, such as Aldi or Netto, so as not to have an adverse effect on Cromer's town centre economy.

The new store, which will include a re-positioned Subway restaurant, is hoped to open before Christmas next year.