Bureaucrats have refused to say how much they are spending on a long-overdue investigation into whether a public right of way should pass through the middle of a supermarket.
The probe was requested by Berkhamsted Town Council 17 years ago after a group of people were elected to the organisation after an anti-Waitrose campaign.
The food store was built in the town anyway, and Herts County Council has only just got around to investigating their application.
County Hall spokesman Andrew Dawson said he could not reveal how much time or taxpayers’ money is being spent on the investigation.
He said answering these questions would take too long, so this website would instead have to put in a request under Freedom of Information Act.
He did said: “Applications are dealt with on a priority basis, and due to the nature of this case it has taken a long time to get to the top of the list as other cases have been given higher priority.
“Hertfordshire County Council still has a statutory duty to investigate such cases to provide legal certainty with regard to the record of public rights of way in this area.
“We are also proposing to use this opportunity to address the anomalies relating to the legal record of Berkhamsted footpath 27, which Berkhamsted residents requested us to do.”