MARKS & Spencer has applied for permission for a 20ft refrigerated storage container outside its shop in Walton every Christmas.

The firm said the container would help the M&S Foodhall, in Arthur Ransom Way, with increased demand and pressure following the Covid-19 pandemic and that it would help to keep staff and customers safe.

It has applied for permission for the container to be placed outside the shop, which was only opened in 2018, between November 1 and January 31 each year.

The firm said: “Marks and Spencer has been working extremely hard since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak to respond to the increased demand for food supplies while making sure customers and employees health and well-being remain a priority.

“With social distancing looking set to continue, Marks and Spencer is conscious of the extra pressure its store will experience over the Christmas period.”

It said the container would help it to maintain a seamless supply of goods while enabling safe working practices.

A decision is expected to be made by Tendring Council by December 23.