CHILTERN District Council is hoping to buy up resident's gardens to attract new shoppers to the area with a planned 58-space extension of the Sycamore Road car park, behind Iceland.

The idea for the development, which was at a standstill despite being first discussed by the council in the 1990s, is now at negotiation stage with five of the homeowners in Rickmansworth Road.

It has already got four gardens for its plan.

Tony Briar, 80, who has a 150ft garden says he will be left with approximately 70ft if a Compulsory Purchase Order is issued.

He said: "It's really going to alter this part of the world but I don't see why. I can never see Amersham becoming a big shopping area."

Other residents also voiced their concerns on the increase in pollution, a drop in property value, the loss of garden space, and possible over-development of the town.

Councillor Noel Brown said: "For Amersham to remain an attractive town centre it's vital that retailers want to invest in it.

"We've resolved to use compulsory purchase powers to acquire the remaining land if we can't reach agreement with the owners."