PLANS for a large-scale housing development in Marlow town centre are ‘moving forward’ according to developers who want to build over 70 new homes behind the High Street.

Crest Nicholson, which now owns the Portland Gardens area, held a public consultation event in April looking for feedback on the scheme, which would transform the largely open green space.

And after sitting down with residents and officials, developers are currently honing the plans before submitting an official planning application.

Spokesman Nick Kilby said: "Following the exhibition, we sat down with neighbours and the architects are reviewing everyone’s feedback, including council officers.

"No planning application has been completed but it is moving forward.

"We are speaking to people again this morning (Monday) and hopefully people waiting to contribute will be glad their voices are being heard. We are trying to understand people’s main concerns."

The site was previously owned by the John Lewis Partnership, which unsuccessfully tried to get planning permission for a supermarket on the town centre plot.

Instead, WDC has earmarked the land for housing development as it looks for locations to cater for the growing housing need in the district.

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.

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 and Mr Kilby said it is working with residents to find them new homes.

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

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.

But some residents at the public consultation told the BFP they were worried about the feasibility of accessing the new homes from along Pound Lane, which is already congested at rush hour.