VILLAGERS are fighting a planning appeal which hopes to extend a country hotel.

The Fox Country Hotel in Ibstone is appealing against a planning refusal to add a new spa and fitness centre and to build a new basement to provide new conference and function facilities for 150 people.

They also want to renovate the restaurant. In its current guise the bed and breakfast has 18 rooms and a restaurant.

Wycombe District Council planning committee refused the application as it said there was not adequate parking provisions.

An appeal has been put in to the Planning Inspectorate against the refusal.

Sonia Ford, who lives in the village, said: "The parking that is within the car park at the moment and the plans that they are wanting to extend, they do not have enough parking to accommodate the amount of room for people they want to bring in.

"Therefore, that means the parking would have to be out on the stretch of road."

Mrs Ford, 42, fears this could be a safety hazard on the busy Ibstone Road and would infringe on the common land.

She said: "It not only affects the local residents but it also affects the visitors too. In the week and weekends we do get a lot of visitors and dog walkers.

"At the moment they can come and go as they please and don't have to worry about car parking."

The Open Spaces Society, the leading organisation for the protection of common land, has objected to the planning appeal as they fear parking would severely degrade the registered common land.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: ‘This lovely, extensive common contributes to the beautiful ambience of Ibstone village. The common would be severely degraded if people park on it, particularly when it is wet. The parked vehicles will also be a danger to other drivers, and to the many walkers and riders who come here for peaceful enjoyment.

‘The public has the right to walk on every part of Ibstone Common and parked vehicles would interfere with that right."

The hotel's agent, TP Architects, did not respond to the Bucks Free Press for a comment.