Council bosses hope a new Lidl can still be built in Blackburn despite throwing out proposals to scrap a second exit over road safety fears.
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning and highways committee refused an application from the supermarket chain to remove a proposed exit from the store due to be built at the Fix Auto site onto Cherry Street.
Earlier this year, the supermarket chain was granted permission to build a new town centre store at the Fix Auto site off Furthergate.
But Lidl bosses later applied to amend the plans and scrap a second exit on to Cherry Street.
Borough planners say the exit is necessary to limit the volume of traffic turning right out of St Clements Street onto Furthergate by offering a safer and more convenient alternative.
Members heard of the danger of letting traffic out onto Cherry Street and that it could lead to accidents.
But council highways officers said that was outweighed by the likelihood of crashes due to volume of traffic turning right onto Furthergate when leaving the store if the Cherry Street exit was scrapped.
Chairman of the committee, Cllr Dave Smith, said he hoped representatives from Lidl would sit down with council officers and come up with a solution that was satisfactory to both parties so that the development could still go ahead.
Speaking on behalf of Lidl, Jim Budd, of SCP Transport, said: “I’m not in the habit of constraining Lidl’s access options and if I thought the site needed a safety valve, I would not be supporting this application.
“My concern about the Cherry Street egress is that it might draw rat run traffic through the car park and cause safety issues for Lidl customers.”
Ward councillor Yusuf Jan-Virmani, added: “Cherry Street is very narrow and opening it up to traffic from Lidl will cause an accident.
“If you open up that street, someone could be injured or killed.”
Borough growth and development boss, Cllr Phil Riley, said: “This is a complicated situation.
“Our fundamental concern is all the traffic being made to go out of the St Clement Street junction.
“We disagree with Mr Budd’s assessment that most of the traffic coming out of Lidl would turn left.
“The concerns the highways officers have is that it’s not the right thing to do.
“We support the officers recommendations and invite Lidl to have further conversations to find a solution suitable for both parties.
“We can’t accept something we feel is unsafe and run the risk of a serious accident.”
Cllr John Pearson and Derek Hardman asked whether putting a no right turn restriction on the Furthergate junction might be a solution to the problem.
Committee chairman, Cllr Dave Smith, added: “Right turns on Furthergate are extremely dangerous and I think it would be irresponsible to approve this.
“I can’t accept this committee putting peoples’ lives in danger.
“Let’s hope after the meeting we can find a solution and bring something back that everyone is 100 per cent happy with.
“The last thing we want is to put Lidl off from building in the area.”