Controversial plans to create a new exit at a busy High Wycombe superstore have been given the green light – despite fears over the safety of elderly residents and students.

Morrisons, in Parker Knoll Way, will now be able to create a new exit through the car park onto Bellfield Road because customers sometimes face delays getting out of the car park after councillors on the Wycombe District Council planning committee gave it the go-ahead on Wednesday night.

Those living near the supermarket - including elderly residents at the Hughenden Gardens Village - fear creating a new exit onto Bellfield Road will put those with limited mobility in harm’s way.

Despite concerns from some councillors about the way Morrisons has acted in the past – letting trees die and removing some of them without reason – the plans were backed by nine councillors, while three were against and two decided to abstain.

Cllr Paul Turner said: “Since Morrisons took over from Safeway, I’d say around half of the trees on the site have died or have been taken out.

“Morrisons need to realise that even though they are a business and they are in it to make money, the only reason they even need this new exit is because they now offer three hours free parking – it is the biggest free car park in High Wycombe and you don’t even need to prove you have shopped there.”

He also said Bellfield Road gets congested with up to three HGVs delivering to the superstore at a time – raising fears about the safety of drivers trying to turn out of the new exit. His concerns were supported by Cllr Hugh McCarthy, who said: “Morrisons have totally disregarded the views of those living in the nearby retirement homes.”

And Cllr Tony Green added: “This issue has been brought about by Morrisons’ own incompetence in managing a car park. They only have themselves to blame.

“I have concerns about the safety of residents on Hughenden Boulevard – there are vulnerable elderly residents and students, who are vulnerable in their own way especially when texting and walking or coming back from a night out. It is not a road we should be encouraging more traffic to go down.”

On the other hand, Cllr Sarfaraz Khan Raja said Morrisons employ a number of people in the town. He said: “There is a lot of negativity about Morrisons but we have to remember they bring a lot of money into the local economy. They employ a lot of people and a lot of people shop there. I have no problems with this application.”