Residents and parish councillors have slammed fresh plans for a historic site in Chalfont St Giles – which has remained empty following a major 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 were unveiled to Chiltern District Council (CDC) in October.

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.

However the new plans have failed to impress residents, with the online application racking up a raft of objections criticising the latest bid as “an overbearing eyesore”.

Writing to CDC, resident Libby Wilson said: “This is the third application in the space of a few months, and each remain virtually the same.

“I have kept quiet about the first two, but feel that this third application is, frankly, a bridge too far…

“I would urge that somebody discuss a true way forward with the landowner.

“There are a number of possibilities – two houses similar to Bierton House, a small block of flats (perhaps four in total), a large family house, a small group of terraced houses (perhaps three in total).

“To continue with this overbearing eyesore is both expensive and silly and continues to undermine the feelings of residents in Chalfont St Giles.”

Another Chalfont St Giles resident, Julia Jolly, raised concerns the development would create more traffic on the already congested Deanway, creating a hazard for pedestrians and children.

She said: “Do we really need another coffee shop when we already have a Costa Coffee and the Deli in the heart of the village?

“The traffic is already bad along Deanway and this proposed plan adds another seven cars at a minimum to that congested road.

“There is the added complication that this proposed development is near a pedestrian crossing which children use to go to both village schools.”

Concerned members of Chalfont St Giles Parish Council have also objected to plans, stating the windows “are not in keeping with the area” and the building is too close to the neighbouring property.

Rob Clarke from R Clarke Planning Ltd insisted concerns raised by the planning committee regarding the size of the building and the impact a pub would have on residents living in the flats have both been addressed.

He said: “The building is now fully clear of a 45 degree angle, drawn from the closest corner of the neighbour’s house ensuring that the impact compared to the refused scheme is significantly reduced.

“The second area of concern related to the perceived conflict between having a public house with a shared rear garden and deliveries and the impact on the proposed flats.

“This has been addressed by proposing a coffee shop with day time opening only.

“The rear garden is for the exclusive use of the flats.  The area in front of the coffee shop is designed to have outdoor tables.

“The latest application seeks to directly address the reasons for refusal issued in relation to the earlier proposal.

“The scheme is policy compliant in all respects including parking and access provisions and has the significant advantage of providing new starter homes along with a community based ground floor use.”