Second Lidl bid ‘hasn’t addressed our concerns’, say Heacham councillors

GV of Stainsby's garage site at Heacham ANL-160215-081029009
GV of Stainsby's garage site at Heacham ANL-160215-081029009
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A new bid to build a multi-million pound supermarket has not addressed the reasons why an initial proposal was rejected, according to parish councillors.

Discount retailer Lidl has submitted a fresh application to develop a store on the site of the former R J Stainsby garage, next to the A149 in Heacham.

Their original proposal was turned down by West Norfolk Council in June, amid concerns over transport and the appearance of the building.

The village’s parish council maintained its objections during a meeting on Tuesday, arguing little had changed from the first application.

But chairman Michael Williamson insisted the authority was not opposing the idea of a store there, following criticism of its stance on the original scheme.

He said: “Our objective is to have a properly managed development.”

Terry Parish was also disappointed by the lack of changes to the scheme, telling colleagues: “It’s a bit cheeky really.”

And vice-chairman Daniel Parton also questioned why the firm had not lodged an appeal against the borough council’s decision, instead of submitting a new application.

The chain maintains that a store is justified in order to meet the needs of both local shoppers, who might otherwise have to travel to Lynn or Fakenham to access other branches, and holidaymakers.

The meeting was told that the firm had offered to pay for box junction and keep clear markings at the site and the nearby Lavender junction.

But the scheme still proposes a single point of vehicular access into and out of the site from the A149, with a right turning lane for drivers seeking to go into the site from the north.

A planning statement submitted within the new application said: “We conclude that safe and suitable access is proposed.”

Lidl argues that the plan simplifies the existing access arrangements, which offer several potential entry and exit points.

It also pointed out that county Highways officials had not objected to the proposal when it was originally put forward.

But members argued that assessment did not take the higher volume of traffic that would be using the site if the development is approved into proper consideration.

Roger Drinkwater said: “You’re still going to have people crossing the front of traffic. It’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

Terry Clay added: “The problem of traffic getting to King’s Lynn hasn’t been addressed and that’s the biggest problem they have got to solve.”

And Mr Parton said the issue could be resolved if the county council acted now, rather than later.

He said: “You can’t get the county council onside because they just don’t care.

“They could have to turn round in 10 years’ time and spend £1 million on a roundabout but they won’t spend £10,000 on a traffic survey to solve these problems.”