Plans emerge for major Marlow town centre housing development

Plans emerge for major new town centre housing development

Plans emerge for major new town centre housing development

Plans emerge for major new town centre housing development

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

PLANS have emerged for a huge housing development in Marlow town centre, with designs going on show to the public today and tomorrow.

Portland Gardens, which lies behind the High Street to the west, could be transformed into 73 one to five bedroom homes.

The site has recently been sold to developer Crest Nicholson after being owned for over a decade by the John Lewis Partnership, which were believed to be considering building a supermarket on the plot.

And the house builder is putting forward its vision for Portland Gardens at a special public consultation event at the development site today and tomorrow.

Nick Kilby, spokesman for Crest Nicholson, said: "We know that Marlow is a very special place to live. We want to make sure that we maintain the character of such a unique place.

"That is why these will not be ‘off the peg’ homes that could be seen anywhere around the country. We hope to use local materials and reflect the local design characteristics that make Marlow such a wonderful place."

"We will end up with a development that truly looks like it belongs here and only serves to enhance the beauty of the area."

Portland Gardens is heavily populated with trees, with the developer insisting it will keep as many as possible to retain the natural beauty of the area.

The land, which is currently accessed by a narrow passageway from the High Street, will be linked with Malthouse Way should the proposals get the go ahead.

A number of properties on the site have been rented for years, and the small terrace of six homes, known as Portland Villas would to be retained but completely renovated and modernised.

All the remaining homes, which Crest Nicholson says are of a "poor standard" will be demolished.

Of the 73 homes outlined in the plans, 25 are set aside for affordable housing, in line with Wycombe District Council’s requirements for new developments.

The announcement has been welcomed by the Marlow Society, which campaigns for the preservation and sensitive development of the town.

Society member Geoff Wood said: "The Marlow Society has not yet had the opportunity to study these proposals in detail but we will certainly be doing so.

"We are delighted that this important site in the centre of our town is finally to be put to good use. It has been derelict for far too long and we have for some time been pressing the owners, then the John Lewis Partnership, to take action.

"We all know that more homes are needed in Marlow - indeed under the new Local Plan they must be provided. This site is well placed for residential development and we understand that there will be a good proportion of 'affordable' homes which is welcome news."

However, Mr Wood added that the society will look carefully at the density and design quality of the housing, as well as studying the parking and traffic impact such a major development could have on the town centre.

As well as cautious optimism towards the scheme, it has also drawn an angry reaction, with a leaflet campaign and posters posted around town opposing the plans.

The protestors behind the "Save Portland Gardens" campaign have not yet been established by the MFP.

However, the literature states: "Portland Gardens should be restored and turned into a public garden for the people of Marlow and its many visitors to enhance the town centre for future generations."

The exhibition will be held on site at Portland Gardens today from 4pm until 8pm and tomorrow from 10am until 2pm.

The full plans will be on show, with the development team on hand to answer questions and collect feedback.

Crest Nicholson says it expects to submit a planning application in late May, subject to feedback from Marlow residents.

Comments (10)

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2:56pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Save Portland Gardens says...

Another example of corporate greed coming before environmental concerns and the wishes of local residents. Portland Gardens has been wilfully neglected by John Lewis and is far from 'derelict', it just needs some love and attention. The residents of Portland Gardens have done what they can to preserve the special nature of the space but with no investment from the land owners this has proved to be very difficult. The villas are some of the oldest houses in Marlow and John Lewis have neglected these beautiful buildings and the surrounding green spaces. Who wants to actually help save the buildings from rack and ruin when you're fully intending to flog them off to the highest bidder? No, the area being "derelict" is much more useful when trying to demolish an historic part of Marlow isn't it?

Portland Gardens is a green haven and should be preserved as such! Not another luxury housing development for the ultra rich! There is rich wildlife and lots of very old trees which need to be preserved for future generations!

SAVE PORTLAND GARDENS! SAY NO TO CORPORATE GREED BEING PUT BEFORE HISTORY! RESTORE THE GREEN SPACES AND ALLOTMENTS!
Another example of corporate greed coming before environmental concerns and the wishes of local residents. Portland Gardens has been wilfully neglected by John Lewis and is far from 'derelict', it just needs some love and attention. The residents of Portland Gardens have done what they can to preserve the special nature of the space but with no investment from the land owners this has proved to be very difficult. The villas are some of the oldest houses in Marlow and John Lewis have neglected these beautiful buildings and the surrounding green spaces. Who wants to actually help save the buildings from rack and ruin when you're fully intending to flog them off to the highest bidder? No, the area being "derelict" is much more useful when trying to demolish an historic part of Marlow isn't it? Portland Gardens is a green haven and should be preserved as such! Not another luxury housing development for the ultra rich! There is rich wildlife and lots of very old trees which need to be preserved for future generations! SAVE PORTLAND GARDENS! SAY NO TO CORPORATE GREED BEING PUT BEFORE HISTORY! RESTORE THE GREEN SPACES AND ALLOTMENTS! Save Portland Gardens
  • Score: 5

3:33pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Save Portland Gardens says...

WWW.saveportlandgard
ens.co.UK please sign the petition!
WWW.saveportlandgard ens.co.UK please sign the petition! Save Portland Gardens
  • Score: 5

7:42am Sat 12 Apr 14

gpn01 says...

73 properties, ranging up to 5 bedrooms. Each property having associated parking for residents plus their visitors? Numbers and plan don't seem to correlate. Bit xincerned that this will add further to the local car parking issues.
73 properties, ranging up to 5 bedrooms. Each property having associated parking for residents plus their visitors? Numbers and plan don't seem to correlate. Bit xincerned that this will add further to the local car parking issues. gpn01
  • Score: 2

8:35am Sat 12 Apr 14

tigeran says...

People making money and councilors receiving back handlers!
People making money and councilors receiving back handlers! tigeran
  • Score: 3

10:05am Sat 12 Apr 14

norma stitz says...

Why the surprise?
Portland Gardens has been earmarked for housing ever since the brewery closed and plans for a mega super store using both sites were rejected by the local authority.
We can object to the plans on planning matters but the truth us it's going to happen. Marlow needs housing and the area is ideal.
Nothing to do with back handers or corporate greed, just common sense.
Why the surprise? Portland Gardens has been earmarked for housing ever since the brewery closed and plans for a mega super store using both sites were rejected by the local authority. We can object to the plans on planning matters but the truth us it's going to happen. Marlow needs housing and the area is ideal. Nothing to do with back handers or corporate greed, just common sense. norma stitz
  • Score: 6

10:11am Sat 12 Apr 14

norma stitz says...

Forgot to mention. does Marlow need another park? We have Higginson, Riley Park, the gardens off Institute Road, Seymour Rec, Gossmore Lane, the towpath plus numerous greens, not really short of recreational spaces are we.
We are short of houses though and the plans must include a percentage of affordable houses.
Developing Portland Gardens will enhance Marlow not detract from it.
Forgot to mention. does Marlow need another park? We have Higginson, Riley Park, the gardens off Institute Road, Seymour Rec, Gossmore Lane, the towpath plus numerous greens, not really short of recreational spaces are we. We are short of houses though and the plans must include a percentage of affordable houses. Developing Portland Gardens will enhance Marlow not detract from it. norma stitz
  • Score: 2

11:04am Sat 12 Apr 14

Mr Methane says...

Save Portland Gardens
Save Portland Gardens Mr Methane
  • Score: 2

11:19pm Sat 12 Apr 14

allrightnow2 says...

Increased parking problems and increased traffic - pretty soon nobody will be able to move in the evening rush hour. It seems particularly bad on a Tuesday evening. Does anyone know why that is? Anyway, I digress. Save Portland Gardens.
Increased parking problems and increased traffic - pretty soon nobody will be able to move in the evening rush hour. It seems particularly bad on a Tuesday evening. Does anyone know why that is? Anyway, I digress. Save Portland Gardens. allrightnow2
  • Score: 2

11:20pm Sat 12 Apr 14

allrightnow2 says...

I hope they will make another entrance/exit to Portland Gardens. Access via the High Street will cause all sorts of problems.
I hope they will make another entrance/exit to Portland Gardens. Access via the High Street will cause all sorts of problems. allrightnow2
  • Score: 2

1:12pm Tue 15 Apr 14

jayeatman says...

allrightnow2 wrote:
I hope they will make another entrance/exit to Portland Gardens. Access via the High Street will cause all sorts of problems.
Read the article!
"The land, which is currently accessed by a narrow passageway from the High Street, will be linked with Malthouse Way should the proposals get the go ahead."
Nothing on the Planning Portal yet so I guess these plans might 'evolve' substantially. I.e. put in for the maximum number of houses and allow the planners to chisel it back a bit.
[quote][p][bold]allrightnow2[/bold] wrote: I hope they will make another entrance/exit to Portland Gardens. Access via the High Street will cause all sorts of problems.[/p][/quote]Read the article! "The land, which is currently accessed by a narrow passageway from the High Street, will be linked with Malthouse Way should the proposals get the go ahead." Nothing on the Planning Portal yet so I guess these plans might 'evolve' substantially. I.e. put in for the maximum number of houses and allow the planners to chisel it back a bit. jayeatman
  • Score: 0

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