SUPERMARKET chain Iceland will open a new store in place of the historic Woolworths site in High Wycombe - five years after it was forced out of the town by Eden.

Iceland submitted a planning application to move into one half of the historic Red Lion House in the High Street, which once played home to Woolies, to Wycombe District Council last Wednesday.

The council say they are mulling over the application but Iceland told the Bucks Free Press today that it is confident a new store will open, with March 18, 2010 given as the hopeful launch date.

The supermarket chain was driven out of its Desborough Road base in 2005 to make room for the Eden shopping centre redevelopment.

WDC also confirmed it has approved a planning application from Poundworld for the other side of the former Woolies site – paving the way for the chain to move in.

Devonshire Metro Ltd, the company that owns Red Lion House, was given the go ahead by the council to divide the existing property into two separate retail units last month.

The news comes hot on the heels of the opening of lingerie retailer Ann Summers in Eden today.

Cosmetics giant Lush hopes to have its new Eden store open in time for Christmas, while children's music and learning centre, Gymboree, also announced today that it expects to move into the shopping centre in the new year.

Budget supermarket chain Lidl will hold a public open day at the Green Street Youth and Community Centre in Desborough Street between 3-6pm on Wednesday, December 2.

The company will be sampling products and showcasing plans for a proposed 'neighbourhood food store' in Desborough Road before deciding on whether to submit a planning application to the council.

Town centre manager Melanie Williams, from the High Wycombe Town Centre Partnership, said: “This is brilliant news.

"It was always going to take some time before the units started to fill up, but it's great news for the town.”