A developer’s bid to build a new pub and block of flats on a historic site in Chalfont St Giles were thrown out by the council yesterday evening.

The Miltons Head pub, which sat opposite the home of the famous 16th century writer John Milton, was gutted in a fire in May 2017, then promptly demolished after it was deemed unsafe.

Initial plans to build a gym and block of flats on the site in Deanway were binned earlier this year after 750 outraged residents signed a petition against the development amid concerns over the loss of the pub and modern design of the building.

Planners went back to the drawing board and created preliminary plans for a pub and six one-bedroom flats – which were presented to Chiltern District Council’s planning committee yesterday evening (September 6).

However, the fresh proposals failed to impress councillors who slammed the “overbearing” nature of the development and the “inadequate” number of parking spaces.

Speaking on behalf of Chalfont St Giles Parish Council, parish and district councillor, Des Bray, fears the eight parking spaces planned would not be enough for the six homes.

He also raised concerns that no disabled access or facilities have been planned for the building.

He said: “The parking on Deanway is already at breaking point and we feel that any further on-street parking will in fact cause great danger to school children right nearby.

“We have got two schools within 200 metres of each other and a zebra crossing which we no longer have a crossing manager for.”

Councillor Jane Macbean said she would be “absolutely horrified” if the development was proposed in her ward, adding she has a “massive problem” with a mixed use pub and apartment block.

She said: “A pub with residential above it will have bar fights, noise complaints, all manner of complaints about to happen, with comings and goings late and night when the pub finally closes.

“The whole thing is a litany of problems from start to finish. The mixed use I have a massive problem with.

“If you want to build a pub, then build a pub and get it right, if you want to build some housing and get it right.”

Rob Clarke, from R Clarke Planning Ltd, insisted the number of parking spaces adheres to planning policy and said there will be disabled facilities in the pub.

He said: “This is an application that has been under great scrutiny form the environmental health department and the highways department.

“What we have in front of you has been carefully examined by officers.”

Councillors refused plans.