South Bucks District Council has defended controversial plans to build a multi-storey car park in Gerrards Cross after campaigners branded the business case “unrealistic and misleading”.

Concerned residents vowed to carry on fighting the extension of the Station Road car park after the council’s plans were given the green light last year.

Campaigners have now questioned the reliability of the business case – which outlines the costs and income generated by the car park – stating that they believe the project “would not return an annual surplus until 2041/42”.

They have also made fresh criticisms over SBDC’s prediction that that the number of vehicles using the car park will increase from 75 cars to 375 by 2023/24 –asking “just where are the extra 300 vehicles going to come from?”

A statement released by the Gerrards Cross Parking Action Group said: “All of the above scenarios would require massive subsidies to be funded by both residential and business council tax payers over and above already projected increases in charges supporting essential services.

“It would leave the proposed unitary authority with a crippling legacy. SBDC need to completely rethink their parking strategy and seriously assess more cost-effective solutions.”

However, a spokesman for SBDC said “experienced consultants” found there is “currently insufficient parking” in the town “with an ongoing increased need for additional car parking in the future”.

The business case was created by senior council officers who have “safeguarded the balanced running of the SBDC budget as is their statutory duty”.

The spokesman said: “The site in Station Road was chosen because of its current use as a surface car park.

“The site has been identified for development for a number of years and the road already has high rise buildings on both sides.

“The business case was prepared by senior council officers who have, over the years, safeguarded the balanced running of the SBDC budget as is their statutory duty.

“The business plan has followed the council’s governance process fully. It was considered at the Resources Policy Advisory Groups on 25th September 2018, cabinet on October 17, 2018, and then at full council on November 14.

“As is part of the council’s practice, the process included consultation, applying for planning permission and using approved contractors.

“Incidentally but importantly, the business plan includes the provision of affordable season tickets for local workers and residents.

“The new car park development will offer a long-term solution to the increasing demand for car parking in Gerrards Cross.

“This 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 visitors.”

Construction on the car park is due to start in 2020.