AN old people's home, a doctors' surgery and community facilities could all be built on the site of the former Cedars School in Hazlemere.

If this happens, it should end a dispute between Buckinghamshire County Council, which owns the site, and locals about the future use of the school.

The council wants the old people's home, while villagers want community use and the surgery.

Dr Nick Reidy, a GP at Hazlemere Surgery, said the doctors had been looking for a new surgery for some time.

"We have 150 sq metres but really we need 400 to cope with developments and pressure to register new patients. We have no car parking at all now.

"It is difficult but we have managed and we will go on managing but it does limit us for the future. We really need bigger premises in Hazlemere," he said.

Now the council is prepared to compromise and has asked English Churches Housing Group, which would build the old people's home, to come up with a feasibility scheme for joint use.

Jeff Gaskell, the council's corporate services manager, told the Free Press the study would be ready within days.

There would be discussion with Wycombe district planning officers and a planning application could go in in July.

Cllr David Cox, a Hazlemere parish and district councillor and chairman of Wycombe District Council, who visited the site with Mark Taylor the county council cabinet member for corporate resources, said: "The parish council has been struggling with this for years, hoping the school would be put to community use."

He had made it clear to Cllr Taylor that community facilities were needed, because there was nothing in the village this side of the A404 for young people to use.

But the council made it clear that community use alone was too much to expect. So this looked like a compromise and Cllr Cox was happy about that adding: "If they are saying they can do this it's wonderful."

The old people's home at the Cedars is intended to be a replacement for Katharine Knapp old people's home at Tylers Green. Katharine Knapp would be redeveloped.

The county council has handed over control of its five old people's residential homes, including Katharine Knapp and Holmers House in High Wycombe, to charity Heritage Care to run on its behalf.

The homes need rebuilding to comply with legislation, which says rooms in residential homes have to be certain size and have ensuite bathrooms by April 2002.

This can be be done more cheaply by Heritage Care.

Holmers House will be rebuilt on the same site and Katharine Knapp people will move to the Cedars.

The homes will also include a new style of county council care flats where older people can live independently, but still get help from care home staff.