A planning officer for Three Rivers District Council has recommended that plans for a Lidl supermarket in Hunton Bridge are approved.

The application would see World Of Water Aquatic Centres, in Hempstead Road, demolished for the construction of the new food store.

Lidl already operates stores in Lower High Street, Watford, and Prestwick Road, South Oxhey.

Regarding plans to have a third store in the area, a statement from the planning officer read: "The officer’s recommendation is that the application is approved."

The plans for a 1,457-square-metre store in Hunton Bridge had been in doubt as Hertfordshire County Council raised “fundamental concerns” over access.

Watford Observer: The proposed Lidl at Hunton Bridge.The proposed Lidl at Hunton Bridge. (Image: Three Rivers District Council / Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects)

However, Hertfordshire Constabulary later confirmed that it was happy with a new layout for the store.

"Associated access, parking and amenities" are included in the supermarket plans, which "fully complies with the very special circumstances" required for Green Belt land development, according to a planning statement included within the application.

The statement adds that the proposed Lidl development "is not considered 'materially larger' than the existing building on the site".

However, 15 objections have been made to the plans, including one by a resident of Swan Mead who states: "I object to this as the road would be unable to cope with the extra traffic this would generate.

Watford Observer: World of Water Aquatics, which would be demolished if plans go ahead.World of Water Aquatics, which would be demolished if plans go ahead. (Image: Google Maps)

"I drive this way to work and the queues are already terrible, this would just make everything much, much worse."

Another objection, from a resident of Glenthorn, added: "Our main concern, as the nearest resident, is noise intrusion from delivery lorries, associated plant and machinery.

"A substantial portion of deliveries will be chilled or frozen. The lorries that carry these goods have diesel engine-driven refrigerator units.

"The noise can be heard from over 300 metres away."


They also voiced fears over increased traffic.

The application will be discussed  by Three Rivers District Council’s planning committee on Thursday (November 16).

The plans can be viewed by searching reference 22/1764/FUL using the local authority's planning portal: www.threerivers.gov.uk/services/planning/.