SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury's have produced new proposals for a massive development that will help change the face of High Wycombe town centre.

A planning application was submitted to Wycombe District Council last week to replace their current store in Dovecot Road with an enlarged store facing onto Oxford Road.

Several properties along Oxford Road, including Magnet and Blockbuster, have been bought by Sainsbury's to make way for the new store frontage.

Terry Willcox, development consultant for Sainsbury's in the South East, said: "These are exciting times for the town and we hope to progress our scheme as quickly as possible in tandem with the development of Eden in High Wycombe.

"The store will have everything you would expect in our bigger stores, such as a delicatessen, fresh fish plus all Sainsbury's non-food items."

The site will have 1,173 parking spaces an increase of 171 on what is currently available.

Two levels of parking will be built on top of the store, with access from Bellfield Road, and the existing Dovecot multi-storey car park is to be refurbished, with the spiral exit road widened.

The scale of the development will require Dovecot Road to be blocked off and extra carriageways added to Bellfield Road.

Magnet will be rehoused in the empty Quasar building beside the Hog's Head pub, in Oxford Street, and Blockbuster will be moved to a new location on site. However Mr Willcox stressed that both Blockbuster and Magnet will remain open during construction work.

The existing Sainsbury's store will also remain open until the new facility is up and running.

The council said it would grant permission in August 2002, but since that time the company has bought additional land currently occupied by Newman House on the corner of Bellfield Road and Oxford Road. This will be knocked down to partly accommodate a new 62,000sq ft sales area.

A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "The acquirement of Newman House means the store will now form a pillar directly opposite the Eden project that is going to happen in the town centre. This will create a gateway into the town."

Should permission for these proposals be given, Sainsbury's hope to start work in Spring next year and aim for a completion in 2008.

A public exhibition is being held at the Chilterns Shopping Centre, in Frogmoor, between September 15 and September 17 from 10am until 7pm