PLANS for a new Marks and Spencer Foodhall in Walton have been given the green light.

An application for the major scheme was put forward by Kilo Properties at the end of June for a site north of Kirby Road.

The site was previously part of the former Martello Caravan Park.

The development will feature 1,486 square metres of retail floor space, 50 car parking spaces, landscaping and a small cafe.

Frinton and Walton Town Council has backed the proposal and Tendring Council has granted planning permission with 24 conditions.

Permission has also been granted for the wider site to include an Aldi food store and care accommodation.

A spokesman for Tendring Council said: “It is a brownfield site in a relatively sustainable location and it is considered that the retail proposal will bring more economic benefit than its retention as a holiday park.

“The town currently suffers from shoppers going to other larger towns and the Foodhall will help to clawback some of that lost trade and provide a wider consumer choice.”

Tendring Council said it also believes the development will help the regeneration of Walton.

It will also create up to 55 new jobs.

Frinton and Walton town mayor Robert Bucke welcomed the plans, but has concerns that the development may pose a threat to Walton High Street.

He said: “I don’t see Marks and Spencer being a threat, but I do see people coming to the shop and then drive away and not go through the town.

“Not many people are going to be travelling through the town centre and that’s not good for the town.

“But I don’t know anybody that isn’t welcoming it. It’s important to get national and international stores into the town.A spokesperson for M&S confirmed the Foodhall will be coming to Walton next year.

They said: “We’re excited to be opening a new Foodhall in Walton next year, bringing the very best of M&S food to the area.”