Plans to build a new budget supermarket in Shoebury have been granted planning permission... despite big fears about its impact on traffic.

The new Lidl store will be built on the Shoebury Garrison estate, off Campfield Road, after members of Southend’s Council’s development control committee approved the plans yesterday.

It came after a heated debate over whether the store would result in significant traffic issues and if it would be right for the council to demand a financial contribution towards improving the surrounding roads.

A planning officer told the committee that Lidl had provided all the information requested and this had been “explored in the most comprehensive way”.

He said: “I appreciate the strong feeling on this but it does not have a big enough impact to ask for a contribution.

“We cannot as a local authority ask for this just because we want to. If the committee were to insist we would need to refuse the application and I would be extremely concerned about our ability to defend that in an appeal.”

Councillor Derek Jarvis hit back at officers telling them the information did not reflect the reality of the situation.

He said: “Residents will find it very difficult to believe what is being said here. I’m not in any way against this application but I do believe we have missed an opportunity to ask a developer to contribute towards highway improvements.”

Councillor Carole Mulroney added: “We have to deal with evidence and facts. Whilst I understand what councillor Jarvis is saying we can’t make a decision based on perception, it has to be based on facts.”

The plan was backed by 13 councillor while one member objected.

When it came to a vote 13 councillors voted in favour of the application and one objected.

The store is planned to be 1,957sqm - roughly one third of the size of a football pitch – and will include a bakery and 140 car parking spaces.

The company claims it represents a multi-million-pound investment and will create 40 new jobs for the area.

Previous locations considered by supermarket bosses include the current Primark building in the Royal shopping centre, in Southend’s town centre.

but this was found to be unsuitable because it was unclear when the retailer would be relocating to the former BHS building on the High Street.