Fresh plans to build a house in the grounds of a High Wycombe pub have been refused amid concerns about noise and parking problems.

The owners of The Squirrel, in Booker Common, wanted to build the house on land surrounding the pub after a previous proposal for two homes was thrown out in August last year.

At the time, councillors felt the plans were an overdevelopment of the site and the loss of part of the garden area and car park would have a “detrimental impact” on the busy pub.

A new application was then submitted for one three-bedroom house with car parking – and owners Hawthorn Leisure Ltd wanted to “reconfigure” the pub car park and amenity area.

However the new plans have been deemed a “backwards step”, with councillors overwhelmingly refusing to support the proposal for a new home.

Cllr Brian Pearce, a Booker councillor, said the landlord and landlady at the popular pub have worked hard to make the pub as popular as it is – and feels that if the house was given permission, it would be a “massive disadvantage” to the pub’s success.

He said: “I am concerned about the number of public houses that are closing – there used to be four in Booker. The Squirrel is very popular and in a fantastic location. It is a favourite for walkers and hikers and is on the edge of Booker Common. My personal belief that Hawthorn Leisure are asset stripping.

“If the house was to go ahead, I believe it would serve a massive disadvantage to the pub and local residents.”

Cllr Chris Whitehead said that supporting the plans would be like supporting anti-social behaviour.

He said: “One of the issues is noise – not just from the pub and the car park to the proposed dwelling but also to the home next door in The Coppice.

“We spend a lot of time talking about anti-social behaviour in the district and here we are creating the potential for anti-social behaviour on neighbouring properties.

“We have heard how busy the pub is with karaoke and parties – it is good, it is a busy, successful pub, but they do generate noise.  

“There is also an issue with parking – the spaces in the car park are very awkward and I don’t think you would get ten cars in there, so they would be parking on the road. There are two dangerous corners there and there would be cars all over the place. I don’t see how we could approve this.”

All but one councillor on the Wycombe District Council planning committee voted to refuse the plans.