THE owner of land in Little Marlow, which is earmarked for a £1.5million running track, has criticised the parish council's stance in opposing it.

The proposal, from Wycombe District Council, is to shift the current track at Handy Cross, High Wycombe, to land next to Westhorpe Farm.

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The plan, to lease the land for the track, has been opposed by a vociferous group of villagers, as well as Little Marlow Parish Council.

A previous plan to move the facilities to Hazlemere were abandoned after outcry from householders.

Landowner Norman Weiss wrote, in a letter to the parish council, and copied to planners: "It has been very disappointing to note that the parish council has decided to oppose the planing application. In the event that it does not proceed, the parish will be foregoing many benefits, including extensive and new permitted paths, cycleways, public parking and conveniences."

The land is earmarked for creating a country park. Proponents of that scheme believe the athletics presence will damage its prospects.

But Mr Weiss wrote: "Its rejection is likely to render the park an increasingly remote possibility as public finances become increasingly constrained."

Concerns felt by parish councillors and villagers include fears of traffic chaos during athletics events and the impact on Green Belt.

WDC says essential sports facilities are not deemed inappropriate for Green Belt and the land will be protected against inappropriate development.