Residents have hit out at plans to use a public park for a major town event, which will see an outdoor cinema set up in Marlow’s Riley Recreation Ground next month by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.

Danny Bryant, whose house overlooks the park, said he was angry that the Gourmet Picture Company, owned by Mr Kerridge, did not consult with residents whose homes also back on to the park, saying they thought the event was being “bulldozed through”.

He also said that residents had received a letter asking if they were prepared to let the company use their parking bays for the week-long set-up, offering free tickets for anyone who agreed.

He said: “I am not a killjoy or anything like that, I want people to have fun – but it is just the way they have done it.

“They are talking about bringing in articulated lorries along the Oxford Road, trying to get them into that tiny car park and in our parking areas. They aren’t forcing us to move but it’s still not right.

“If someone had come and talked to us about it, we could have come up with a solution.

“It’s just been shoved in our faces.”

Gourmet Picture Company bosses said they had “undergone extensive talks with both Wycombe District Council and the Riley Park Trust” to make sure all safety and parking concerns had been addressed. 

Spokesman Steve Lane said: “For a short period of time while we set up the site, residents have been asked to move any vehicles from the site entrance.

“Lorry deliveries will be minimal, and the perimeter of the pop-up cinema will be secured so the rest of the park can be used as normal.

“We welcome any further comments or concerns which residents living close to Riley Park may have.

“Response to the festival from Marlow residents has been overwhelmingly positive with a lot of excitement about the breadth of the film programme and the interesting and unusual venues we are using.”

Mr Bryant also criticised the Riley Park Trust for allegedly refusing repeated requests from residents to hire the park for smaller activities in the past.

He said: “Locals have tried to rent the park for events and we have been either ignored or told no.

“Now someone has come along with a lot more cash and has booked it out for a month.

“We are absolutely gobsmacked at the way in which this has been conducted.”

Tony Shannon, chairman of the Riley Park Trust, defended its decision to hire out the park to the Gourmet Picture Company, saying the trust had “always dealt with requests for usage sensitively and constructively”.

He said: “The Riley Park Trust relies totally from its own resources and more than welcomes events such as the present one to generate much needed income the latter being essential for the very long term survival of this community trust which, incidentally, was rescued from bankruptcy over recent years.”