A ROW of shops in Flackwell Heath could soon have a new access and parking spaces added out the front - if plans go ahead next week.

Cuxton Ltd, which owns Aries House in Straight Bit, wants to add a new access and two new parking spaces in a move that has been praised by shop owners but criticised by councillors.

Cuxton says the new access and spaces would help bring customers to the shopping parade - shoppers who usually struggle to park in the area.

The plans come in the wake of a major sinkhole there which damaged trade for the shops for more than a year - and Cuxton says the gesture would “give renewed confidence to retailers and shoppers alike” following the ordeal.

Although the shop owners on the parade have praised the plans, Cllr John Savage, who represents the area, said it is “dangerous” and “foolish” because it would see vehicles crossing the pavement.

Objecting to the plans, he wrote: "Children frequently run about this area and the idea that two cars will park and then reverse to come out is highly dangerous.

"If the proposal is for short time parking, who will police this?"

Chepping Wycombe Parish Council has also objected, saying the potential congestion caused by vehicles trying to park would result in an "unsafe" environment for pedestrians trying to get to the shops.

However, a shopkeeper on the parade for 22 years said the addition of extra parking would be good for those with shops in Aries House - especially after the sinkhole drama.

Ian Robb said: "Any further parking would not only be good for the village but also for the business owners who rely on customers being able to park."

"Yes indeed this is a congested area and at times unsafe but we are talking about two parking spaces and by the looks of the plans, there is enough room for cars to reverse out of the space and drive out frontwards.

"Let's help the village survive not hinder it."

The plans - which have been recommended for approval - will be decided at Wycombe District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, January 15.