Building work on a controversial car park development in Gerrards Cross has been delayed by more than a year – prompting fresh concerns from frustrated residents who have campaigned against the plans.

Yesterday (October 17) South Bucks District Council’s cabinet approved the final business case for the Station Road multi-storey car park, and agreed to change the overall cost to £13.051 million – an £800,000 increase from the estimate given in April.

Members were also told construction work will not start until January 2020 – instead of the previously planned date of January 2019 – to avoid the current car park being closed over Christmas 2019.

Planning permission was granted in April to extend the current car park by 4.5 floors – creating 442 spaces – despite fierce opposition from campaigners.

Speaking at the meeting, portfolio holder for resources, Barbara Gibbs, said: “I would like to emphasise we are out of parking capacity and that is why this is being built.

“And I would also like to say that it has been redesigned since the original proposal to soften the outside to make it more in keeping with the buildings beside it, and it’s set back roughly two metres space in front of it.”

After the meeting, Gerrards Cross resident, Rhiannon Rowsell, disputed Cllr Gibbs’ claims, and called for the development to be postponed until a full consultation has been carried out.

She also raised concern the cost of the car park is “spiralling”, adding the development is not viable as the current car park in Station Road is not at full capacity.

She said: “It does not feel democratic at all. There has been no proper consultation – we just had a display telling us what the plans were, we weren’t given any options.

“We have a car park where the cost is spiralling, and the current car park is half empty.

“For proposals for something this big in Gerrards Cross we want a proper consultation, we want interactive meetings, we want to be listened to.”

However spokesman for SBDC, Connie Primmer, stated an investigation found an extra 375 non-commuter parking spaces are needed in the town “to meet future demand”.

A “well attended” public information event was held to showcase the designs, and members of the public were encouraged to submit comments.

She added: “Now that the plans have been finalised, Balfour Beatty have provided updated tendered construction costs which have changed since the scheme was last considered.

“This project will be funded by borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) and in the long term the development will cover its costs.

“We believe this new development offers a long-term solution to the increasing demand for car parking in Gerrards Cross which needs to be met in order to ensure the long term viability of the town centre and its businesses in the best interests of local residents and other visitors.”