Fresh concerns over plans to move families in an “isolated” emergency hostel to a new development in the centre of High Wycombe have been raised - with one councillor saying Desborough Road is not a suitable home for children because of prostitutes and drunk people.

Saunderton Lodge, which provides temporary accommodation for those in need and is owned and managed by Wycombe District Council, could be replaced with a bigger 57-room unit on Desborough car park, but the proposals will be subject to a planning application.

Despite agreement from councillors that the current location of the hostel is too rural for young families, concerns over the new planned location have flared up. 

Cllr Alan Hill, who represents the Abbey ward, says Desborough Road has a history of anti-social behaviour and prostitution and is not a suitable home for young children. 

He said: “A lot of people – including me – would like to see Saunderton Lodge go because it isn’t fit for purpose. But Desborough Road car park is not the right place for it.

"The idea of Saunderton Lodge was that it is out of the way and that husbands and ex-husbands and boyfriends couldn’t get to these women to upset them and interfere with their way of living and in Desborough Road they can get to them quite easily. You could end up with more trouble than it’s worth. 

“Desborough Road is quite well known for drugs and prostitutes and alcohol. I think it’s crazy putting them there.”

Responding to the criticism, Charles Brocklehurst, property chief at Wycombe District Council said it was a “myth” that residents of Saunderton Lodge are “abused wives”. 

He said: “The main customer base is single mothers and to isolate a single mother at Saunderton without any form of transport is just cruel.

“We have had meetings with the police and they are happy with the proposals because it is a managed complex and they know who to come to if it starts to attract the wrong sort of people.” 

Renovation works in Desborough are also set to include automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and CCTV cameras to cut crime.

Mr Brocklehurst added: “We are proposing to use technology to solve some of the issues – some of which have been reduced anyway by the Baker Street renewal.”