PLANS to open a cafe/bar in place of a former toy shop in Amersham have been given approval by council bosses.

The Bristol-based Loungers group has been given permission to convert the former Entertainer in Hill Avenue - having been looking for a place in the town for five years.

The green light has been given by Chiltern District Council subject to a legal agreement being confirmed, and the new bar could be open within the next 12 months.

Alex Reilley, Managing Director of the Loungers group, told the Bucks Free Press: "We've been actively looking for something in Amersham for near enough five years now. We're delighted to finally secure premises and planning permission.

"We feel our concept is well suited to the town. Whilst there are a lot of good restaurants, there isn't anything in the town that offers informality and placement that our concept offers.

"Amersham struck us as a town where there's lots of potential and perhaps under served in regards to places people can go just for drinks. It's an attractive town and has a good character of people. It will support our business very well."

Before building work can begin details on how the new business would be soundproofed to protect neighbours need to be submitted to the council.

Loungers, which owns 36 'Lounge' bars around the country, has applied to the council to open for business from 8am-11pm Monday to Friday and from 9am-11pm at weekends and on bank holidays.

Three one-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom dwelling would also be created on the first floor of the refurbished property, along with five new car parking spaces and four bicycle racks.

A total of 12 letters of objections to the plans were received by the council, with neighbouring residents raising concerns at a loss of privacy for homes in adjacent Woodside Close and an increase in noise levels.

Concerns at an increase in illegal parking and traffic levels were also raised, but Highways officials from Buckinghamshire County Council said the planned bar would not have a detrimental impact on the existing road network.