Plans for a new Lidl in Hunton Bridge have been knocked back again — with councillors still worried about safe access.

The decision was deferred despite a Three Rivers District Council planning officer recommending that the plans for a new 1,457-square-metre supermarket off the A41 be approved ahead of yesterday’s (November 16) planning committee meeting.

The initial proposal had been submitted in September last year, but Hertfordshire County Council’s highways team raised “fundamental concerns” over how the site, currently World of Water, would be accessed.

Access arrangements had to be redrawn and faced multiple rounds of feedback before Hertfordshire County Council told the Watford Observer it was content with the latest proposed highways layout, in September.

However, objections over the impact on surrounding roads continued to come in from the public and access was still the main reason that the decision was deferred by the planning committee.

Councillor Sara Bedford, who chaired the meeting, said: “Residents and councillors had a number of concerns about the safety of the access and egress at the site on a busy dual carriageway, so close to the Hunton Bridge roundabout.

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)“There were also other concerns regarding the safety of cyclists and overflow parking.

“Because of the high level of concern, councillors have requested that the planning officer speak to the applicants to see if they would be prepared to make changes to the application.

“If this isn't possible, then Three Rivers will engage independent transport consultants to review the highways safety of the site.”

Watford Observer: The World of Water site, roundabout, and A41 from above.The World of Water site, roundabout, and A41 from above. (Image: Google Maps)

If independent transport consultants review the proposal, or changes are made, the committee will then be able look at the proposal again with more information.

Key to the concerns is the right-turn across the busy A41. The latest arrangements involve reconfiguring the existing way in so that the access road is a minimum width of 7.3 metres until reaching the car parking area, and moving a pedestrian crossing so that a “ghost island” right turning lane can be created.

For foot and cycle traffic, a crossing would be added and the existing foot/cycle way along the eastern edge of the A41 would be extended.