A pub landlord fears businesses will struggle to survive if another town centre car park is taken away by the district council to make space for a new “modular” hostel.

Cedric Booles, from the Rose and Crown pub on Desborough Road, High Wycombe, is worried businesses in the area will be plunged into misery if the road’s car park is closed.

Wycombe District Council has agreed to progress with plans to replace the isolated Saunderton Lodge – which is around five miles away from the town centre - with a larger and more modern, modular building on the site of the car park.

Mr Booles highlighted how businesses in the area have already suffered major disruption and a loss of footfall after being plagued by roadworks as part of the alternative route and fears the situation could get worse if the hostel plans go ahead. 

If the Desborough Road car park is closed down, it will be the third in the town centre to shut – following George Street and Baker Street.

The landlord said: “Having spent the last 18 months surviving with all the road works and disruption caused by them, the removal of two car parks within the area (with no apparent activity) and now a third one looks in jeopardy, I ask the question - how can a business survive?

“The reason the park is under used is that it is now blocked off from Desborough Road. At present unless you want to go round in circles, or park in Eden Car Park, Bridge Street onwards is a dead end. Therefore no foot fall. 

“I am sure I am not the only trader in the area that is somewhat confused at the council's plans even though it appears that generating revenue is their main concern.”

Sue Robinson, a spokesman for Wycombe District Council, said there are “wider plans” for the Desborough area to address the loss of parking.

She said: “We are looking closely at future parking provision in and around Desborough and we’re exploring possibilities including using land between East Richardson Street and Baker Street at the Westbourne Street end to provide some short stay pay and display public parking and we’re also looking at how we could expand the East Richardson Street car park.

“This will be in addition to the proposed Aldi car park [97 spaces], which will offer up to 1.5 hours free parking and around 22 new on street pay and display parking spaces as part of the DesBox project.

“We are aiming to have the off street spaces in place before the Desborough Road surface car park is developed. In the meantime, there is less parking available and whilst we do appreciate that this comes on top of the roadworks for the alternative route, it is a temporary disruption.

“We acknowledge that road works are disruptive to local businesses but throughout our work on the alternative route through Desborough, our construction team worked very hard to ensure local businesses and residents were updated regularly and to minimise local disruption. They completed the work two weeks ahead of schedule.

“We are at a very early stage looking at community units so we can’t give any details of occupation but we know that there are a lot of active charities and community groups in the town and we believe that offering them space at good rates could be beneficial.”