Fight back against plans for supermarket 'in wrong place' on A47

Opposition builds to Lidl off A47 Gorleston

Graham Dunhill, Phil Smith, Marion Oliver, and John Plaskett fear the impact of 500 homes and a Lidl store on their community around Links Road and Warren Road on the fringes of Gorleston and Hopton. - Credit: Liz Coates

Opposition is building over plans for a new Lidl store and 240 homes in an area residents say is already under pressure.

Norfolk County Council is bidding for permission for the homes and a 60-bed independent living facility on agricultural land it owns on the A47 on the Hopton/Gorleston fringe, with Lidl looking to woo planners with its proposal for a store.

While Covid rules prevent a large gathering, a small group took their protest to Links Road where, in time, some 500 houses are planned.

John Plaskett, who has lived on street for almost 40 years, said the plans had sparked a range of concerns spanning traffic, house prices, and pressure on services.

A rough outline of the proposed development site for 240 houses and a LIDL supermarket south of Link

A rough outline of the proposed development site for 240 houses and a LIDL supermarket south of Links Road between Gorleston and Hopton. Picture: Google Maps. - Credit: Archant

He is planning a leaflet drop to rally the community, urging people to fire off letters to planners and sign an online petition aimed at defending their neighbourhood.

While the scale of the planned estate was an issue, so too was the siting of the Lidl store which residents say should be on Beacon Park in line with the council's own planning brief.

A bid by Sainsbury for a store and petrol station there foundered in 2015, the retail giant citing "a site specific issue" it was unable to resolve.

Graham Dunhill, also of Warren Road, said he understood houses had to be built but it was the scale of the development and siting of the supermarket that was unacceptable.

"It's not what the residents want," he said . "They want to see it on Beacon Park."

Most Read

Overall they felt the scheme would devalue the whole area.

Marion Oliver said: "A lot of residents are worried about it. It is nice to see some green space."

County and borough councillor Graham Plant said he expected Lidl would be challenged as there was "a place for it" on Beacon Park.

"The retail element for the  housing plan is on Beacon Park," he said.

"I can understand the supermarket wanting it there (on Links Road) but that particular fight has to be fought out in development control.

"I do understand people's concerns. There is no access off the A47, it would all have to come off Links Road.

"Having said that we need houses in the borough and if there are two accesses and egresses on Links Road that will automatically slow  traffic down.

"It will be a slower road, but it may be a busier road."