The boss of a city landmark has hit back after eco-friendly campaigners slammed the venue for "cheapening our people-friendly city" by allowing car displays.

Matt White, founder of Car-Free Norwich, claimed Saturday's Toyota showcase outside The Forum in Millennium Plain contradicted moves the Fine City has made in bringing cleaner air and safer spaces through the removal of traffic.

Norwich Evening News: Matt White, founder of Car-Free NorwichMatt White, founder of Car-Free Norwich (Image: Matt White)

"For one of our city's great pedestrian areas to then be used to peddle private cars is a mockery of this progress," he said.

"Millennium Plain may not 'technically' be public, but to all intents and purposes, it is. And we object to any private cars being sold from public space.

"This flies in the face of The Forum's own sustainability goals, which they claim are central to their mission.

"Libraries' outside spaces simply shouldn't be used as car dealerships.

"Our city deserves better."

READ MORE: Should Norwich become car-free? Campaign launched by man living with lung condition.

Norwich Evening News: The exhibition took place outside The Forum on SaturdayThe exhibition took place outside The Forum on Saturday (Image: Car-Free Norwich)

The Forum - which opened in 2001 on the site where the old Norwich Central Library burned down in 1994 - is operated by a charitable organisation, the Forum Trust, with members including Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council.

Chief executive of the Forum Trust, Tim Bishop, hit back at the claims put forward by Car-Free Norwich, arguing: "Car displays are a small component of that year-round programme of events.

"Commercial bookings subsidise our free events programme, including Norwich Science Festival and Norfolk Makers Festival, and enable us to offer low-cost venue hire to charities.

Norwich Evening News: Tim Bishop, chief executive at The Forum TrustTim Bishop, chief executive at The Forum Trust (Image: The Forum)

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"There is a strong balance of different events, and we have clear guidance on acceptable use of The Forum spaces.

"We ask anyone who exhibits cars to include their more climate-friendly electric and hybrid models. On this occasion, two-thirds of the cars exhibited were hybrid or electric.

"Working towards net zero is The Forum’s aspiration but ignoring that many people and businesses continue to depend on road vehicles is not the way forward.

"Encouraging discussion and development of more sustainable and affordable alternatives surely is."