A coffee shop and block of flats are the latest plans put forward for a historic site in Chalfont St Giles – which has remained empty following a major pub fire more than a year ago.

Proposals to build a 2.5-storey building including seven one-bedroom flats and a café on the ground floor at the former Miltons Head Pub in Deanway have been submitted to Chiltern District Council (CDC).

The watering hole, 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.

Attempts to build a gym and apartment block, then another pub and apartment block on the site have both been thrown out by the council over the last year.

Planners say replacing the pub proposal with a café addresses concerns over the impact a bar would have on residents living in the flats.

The fresh proposals see the building moved 35cm further away from the neighbouring property, and the depth has been reduced, after councillors raised fears regarding the overbearing nature of the development.

The plans published on CDC’s website state: “The coffee shop takes up less floor area and is a more low key use, which allows minimal impact on the proposed flats.

“The proposal achieves a sustainable form of development, retaining a community use / facility at the site, and making a positive contribution to the street scene.

“It would effectively utilise the layout of the site, respecting the amenity of neighbouring properties.

"It would not harm the nearby conservation area, or have a materially harmful impact on the highway and parking.”

However despite criticisms over the lack of parking included in previous proposals, the number of parking spaces has increased by one, to facilitate an additional flat.

The online application has received no letters of support, and one objection from an angry resident, who branded the new plans “a bridge too far”, criticising the height of the building and “small” flats.

To see and comment on the plans visit https://pa.chilternsouthbucks.org.uk/online-applications/files/C18422F37DA2E68EFD7ECBB309AB5652/pdf/PL_18_3406_OA-FORMER_MILTONS_HEAD_PUB_PLANNING_STATEMENT_13-9-2018_WITH_APPENDIX-3680751.pdf Picture: The Miltons Head