CONTROVERSIAL plans to replace an “isolated” hostel miles outside of High Wycombe with a new modular building on the site of a town centre car park have been recommended for approval - as councillors prepare to make a decision next week.

Saunderton Lodge, which provides temporary accommodation for those in need and is owned and managed by Wycombe District Council, has long been in need of refurbishment and is over 90-year-old.

Instead of refurbishing the current site, the council mooted plans to create a five-storey modular building with 58 one-bed flats in on the site of the Desborough Road car park instead - bringing families closer to the town centre facilities.

Residents who have had to stay at the current hostel – which is in a rural location off the A4010 – have also complained about the lack of shops, schools and public transport nearby. The closest shop is in Princes Risborough and the closest school in Lacey Green.

After more than a year of discussions, the plans for the new modular building in Desborough Road will go before the Wycombe District Council planning committee on Wednesday, April 24.

The application has been recommended for approval by councillors despite some concerns.

Melanie Williams, BID manager at HWBIDCo, which represents more than 500 businesses in the town, said: “We are not disputing the need for temporary accommodation but we are concerned that the location being considered is detrimental to businesses and the local area and more down to the fact that it is the cheap location, not the right one.

“It is pure fantasy to speculate that those in temporary accommodation have disposal income, they would not be in temporary accommodation if they had the means to not be.

“There has been a great deal of work on the regeneration of Desborough Road and a repositioning of this area; unfortunately, this proposal, if it does go ahead, would represent several steps backwards.”

The district council has insisted the new building will provide more space for those desperately in need of emergency housing.