RAIL campaigners fear a building plan for 26 homes will threaten a future train link between Wycombe and Maidenhead.

Henry Homes Ltd has submitted proposals to build the homes behind 33 - 125 Wycombe Lane, in Wooburn Green, on land around the old railway line between the towns.

Much of the old route is undeveloped and various organisations, including Wycombe Society, have been campaigning for the rail link to be restored.

Last week a Government minister spoke of reopening rail links closed during the ‘Beeching Axe’ in the 1960s.

Iain Taylor, agent for the developer, said the plans would allow for any future revival of the railway. He said the old route would be covered by a road through the houses and this could be removed.

Wycombe District Council was "understandably adamant" that the former railway route was preserved, he added.

But Wycombe Society member Nigel Phillips believes the development could spell ‘disaster’ for a rail link.

He told the Bucks Free Press: "It would really put the costs up and I just think it’s impractical, you could have a train going right past your doorstep. The plan hasn’t been drawn up to show a railway."

There have also been calls for a cycle path along the route.

The planning application documents submitted to the council say: "The site is immediately adjacent to the Green Belt whilst the safeguarded Bourne End to High Wycombe Railway Line route runs north/south through the site.

"The road layout and building positions are such that the scheme would permit this route to be developed should (off-site) circumstances permit."

There has been a "a history of failed attempts to redevelop some or all of the land in question", but the site has been recognised "as being suitable for comprehensive residential redevelopment", the documents add.

Several residents along Wycombe Lane have objected to the scheme, which would include three blocks of flats and 12 semi-detached houses. Number 51 Wycombe Lane would also be demolished.

For more details on the plans see related links.