A boarded-up bingo and snooker hall that a councillor previously claimed made a High Wycombe street look like a “third world country” is no closer to being turned into flats years later.

The old Needham Bowl on Desborough Avenue, which is owned by Paradigm Housing but has been boarded up and partly demolished for years, was tipped in October 2018 for a makeover – with long-awaited plans to turn it into duplexes and flats revealed by the housing association.

There has previously been outrage that the site has been left to decay – with Cllr Matt Knight previously remarking that it looks an “absolute disgrace” in January 2018.

There was excitement when Paradigm finally put forward plans for the site in mid 2018 - but still nothing has been done.

Wycombe District Council gave Paradigm permission to build 82 flats - 27 one-bed, 51 two-bed and four three-bedroom - in two blocks varying in height between 3.5 and six storeys with basement car parking with 70 spaces, cycle storage, rubbish and recycling storage as well as a new footpath between Desborough Road and Leigh Street in June 2019.

The council said the housing association had to pay £250,000 to them as part of an "employment contribution" and one of the conditions of the permission is that work has to start within two years of July 1, 2019 - but it is not clear when anything will actually happen on the site.

The Bucks Free Press asked Paradigm for an update on the situation - and a spokesman said: "we continue to develop our plans for this site, but have yet to set firm timescales."

The lack of news will be disappointing for residents and shop owners who live and work in the area - which is undergoing huge investment as a string of new developments pop up.

At one end of the road, work is well under-way on “Centre Square” – formerly the gas works site – in Lily’s Walk, as Inland Homes build 240 homes with space for shops.

At the other end, developers are also working on new homes on the site of the now-demolished Leigh Street historic furniture factories.

And before coronavirus hit the UK, HWBIDCo - which looks after businesses in the town - was thinking of more events that could be held in the Desborough area to help revitalise it.