Massive Investment in Desborough Road, High Wycombe
An area of High Wycombe is undergoing “massive” investment – “the likes of which it hasn’t seen before”
Wycombe District Council’s property boss, Charles Brocklehurst, said the Desborough Road area will see “quite a bit of gentrification going on” as a housing explosion sees developers revamp previously run-down parts of the town.
At one end of the road, work is well under-way on “Central Square” – formerly the gas works site – in Lily’s Walk, as Inland Homes prepares to build 240 homes with space for shops.
The adjacent Buckingham House has also been sold to a house builder and Castle House – which used to be offices – is also being converted into apartments.
Mr Brocklehurst said the different plans will see “a couple of hundred” new apartments built in an area which once suffered with prostitution, drug dealing and drinking on the streets.
“Long-awaited” planning permission has also been granted this week to turn the dilapidated Collins House – at the bottom of Bridge Street – into homes, while at the other end of the road, developers were given the green light to demolish Leigh Street’s historic furniture factories at the end of last year.
In between, the Baker Street area renewal project championed by the council will see a new Aldi superstore open and the DesBox scheme to provide a home for craftspeople is expected to get underway in June.
Mr Brocklehurst said the council is trying to “transform” the area and remove some of the “problem back-land areas that existed previously” by bringing in new activity and employment.
He said: “There is a massive amount of investment coming in to the Desborough area and a lot of new people to live there and support the businesses there.”
He also said a shift from long-stay parking to short-stay – and free parking – will benefit shop owners.
However, Cllr Alan Hill said work needs to be done to improve the road system before any more housing is built.
The controversial alternative route scheme saw changes made to the road in a bid to improve traffic flow without lights or roundabouts.
He said: “It is absolutely diabolical down there. it has increased my time getting from Desborough to the council offices.
"It now takes around half an hour on a good day when it used to take five or 10 minutes. No one knows where they are going and everyone just parks everywhere.”
Mr Brocklehurst said the idea is to “slow people down”, adding: “It doesn’t allow cars to thrash up and down at the detriment of pedestrians.”
Taken from Bucks Free Press