Angry residents are fighting back against plans for a new leisure centre in Amersham amid concerns over the loss of part of a popular playing field.

A planning application to replace the outdated Chiltern Pools in King George V Road with a new state-of-the-art facility, named the Chiltern Lifestyle Centre, has been submitted to Chiltern District Council.

If they are given the green light, the lifestyle centre will feature a 25-metre pool, gym, café, community centre and library, and the existing buildings on the site – which include Chiltern Pools, Drake Hall, Chiltern Youth Centre and Amersham Library, excluding the annex and Barn Hall – will be replaced.

However, as of this week, more than 50 objection letters have been submitted by angry residents and just 14 have been submitted in favour of the plans.

Resident Darren Henderson said one of the driving forces against the plans is the loss of green space on the King George V Playing Field.

The council claimed a small parcel of the land would be taken away – but Mr Henderson said it is more like 25 per cent of the field.

The field is protected by Fields In Trust – an organisation set up by King George V to project public open spaces.

To get around the protection, the council wants to swap ownership of the field with that of the green on Woodside Close, so that is protected instead.

Mr Henderson said: “This swap makes the protection offered by Fields In Trust meaningless and the green on Woodside Close is already protected by a covenant from the Metropolitan Railway, dating back to the 1930s, so this is just the council trying every trick in the book to get its own way.

“What we’re looking for is for the council to scale back the plans so the facility is fit for purpose, retaining our green spaces.”

Another resident, Jo Houghton, said the centre is too large. She said: “We’re not opposing the redevelopment of the site, we’re objecting to the scale of the project which will see the loss of 25 per cent of the King George V Playing Field, the majority of the green space in front of the library and a structure that will sit virtually up against Chiltern Avenue.”

Chiltern District Council said they could not comment on ongoing planning applications, but did say they acknowledged the proposal would result in the loss of some green space, adding: “We consider that investing in a new leisure and community centre will enable residents to benefit from the opportunities that may be provided and support an active lifestyle.”

The plans will be decided on February 14.