A LEADING conservation group for Marlow has added its criticism to a new project to transform the site of an iconic town business.

The Marlow Society has objected to plans for a modern building and new houses to replace Jollife’s dress hire store, which has stood on Chapel Street for over 45 years.

Society chairman Martin Blunkell joined residents in speaking out over the scheme, which would demolish part of the corner plot and build a block using modern materials like zinc cladding.

In a response to Wycombe District Council, he said: “Chapel Street provides a strong link to Marlows historic past.

“The Borlase Cottages and the former stables of the Wrightlands date to the late 18th century, typically 1788 and these fill the street opposite No 48.

“Adjacent properties at Nos 40, 42, 44, 46 and 60 are all Grade II listed. This concentration of listed properties surely demands a particularly sympathetic design for the corner plot. We await it.

“By objecting to this application The Marlow Society asks the Wycombe District Council to ensure that the eventual development to 48-54 Chapel Street complies with its own policies and results in an enhancement to this historic street.”

Earlier this month, the MFP reported on neighbours’ concerns over the replacement building, currently awaiting planning permission.

The society also raised fears over the number of parking spaces allocated for the three flats, two semi detached houses and four bed property in the listed part of the Jolliffe's site.

Designer of the plans, Wycombe-based Brocklehurst Architects, say the new buildings are respectful to the historic area and that they must build for the future rather than mimic the past.

Jolliffe's has previously confirmed it had put the site up for sale and would look to relocate the business.

WDC is due to rule on the application next month.