THE DEMOLITION of a market town building, which houses a bookshop and a health and beauty business, to make way for residential properties and a new pair of retail units has been met with strong opposition.

A planning application for Amersham town centre, that would see a building containing a Waterstones and a Superdrug torn down so 14 apartments and two new shops can be built in its place, has been branded a “considerable blow” for locals.

Since mid-December, the proposal has received well above 50 objection letters from concerned residents.

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Once the existing building is gone, there is provision for two new buildings of varying size – one facing Sycamore Road with 11 dwellings and two shops, and one at the rear containing three more apartments.

Car parking, necessary landscaping and bicycle storage is also mentioned.

However, the amount of residential floorspace “appears to exceed that which can be accommodated on the site”, according to council documents.

The council had also been ‘particularly’ concerned about “car parking standards” and access.

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“The last thing we need is more ever-higher apartments jammed into an ever-more crowded and dense town centre, losing shop space and increasing traffic and parking problems, thus changing the character of Top Amersham,” said one objector.

They added: “The loss of these two stores would be a considerable blow to Amersham as there are people that rely on them and there are no units of equivalent size elsewhere in town they could relocate to.”

The objector also fears the new retail units are “considerably smaller” than the existing – and that the parking is “totally inadequate”.

They added: “[This] would result in excessive and chaotic pressure on the local area.”

The deadline for public comments is January 7.

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