A bid to expand a Lidl car park in a coastal town has been approved despite a council leader's attempts to intervene.

The discount supermarket's store in Heacham has permission to build 29 extra spaces, of which 26 would have rapid electric chargers following the decision by West Norfolk councillors.

It will be built on land next to the store, which is located off the busy A149, and will allow people to fully charge their electric vehicles within three hours.

Eastern Daily Press: Terry Parish, leader of West Norfolk CouncilTerry Parish, leader of West Norfolk Council (Image: West Norfolk Council)

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West Norfolk Council leader Terry Parish, a Heacham resident, spoke at a recent planning committee meeting in his capacity as a parish and district councillor for the village arguing it was a bad idea.

He feared it would lead to the erosion of "valuable" countryside and would be an "unnecessary removal of open space."

In addition, he said the majority of car park users would likely be local and would be able to charge their vehicles at home.

Heacham Parish Council had also objected to the plans.

It said:: "This extended design will change the car park into one where vehicles will come from all directions mixing with pedestrians including children, it is a confused layout with no clear rules and needs a one-way system in and out."

Claims were also made that the car park was rarely full and did not need more spaces.

However, a report to council stated that caravans and other larger vehicles often use the car park and take up multiple spaces.

Members also noted that the supermarket's customer base may grow in the future and more spaces would be needed.

Despite the leader's attempts to intervene, West Norfolk Council planning committee members voted to approve the car park extension.