Waitrose site plans in Marlow approved by council

Plans to convert the old Waitrose and Partners site in Chapel Street have been given the green light by the council.

The application, from developer DP9, was sent to Wycombe District Council in November and proposed for the site to become a nursery with office and residential space.

The council approved the plans on February 28, despite concerns from The Marlow Society about congestion and air quality levels in its town centre location.

Proposals include the nursery on the ground floor, office space on part of the first floor and nine residential units on part of the first and second floors.

The latter would comprise of three one-bed flats, five two-beds and one three-bed.

Bright Horizons will now become the operator of the nursery.

Plans will see a total of 12 parking spaces – five for the nursery and seven for the flats – an issue also aired by The Marlow Society to the planning authority.

President of the Marlow Chamber of Commerce Lesley James said: “I have mixed feelings because we have lost Waitrose in the first place, and there is not another supermarket going in there, so that is a shame.

“I do not have a problem with people being able to live in the town centre but it is a shame that we have lost such a great business.

“But the town has other benefits, it still has a unique position.”

Marlow’s Waitrose store closed in October last year.

The site was originally constructed as an office space before being occupied by the high-end supermarket.

Visit bit.ly/2PXNz8A to view the plans in full on the council’s website.

MARLOW: The town’s wildlife group is launching a campaign to encourage residents to welcome species into their gardens.

Known as the Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign, the scheme officially launches on Friday, April 3.

It will kick off at 7pm at All Saints Church in The Causeway with talks and information stands from a range of wildlife groups.

The evening is free for Wild Marlow members with a suggested £3 donation for non-members.

With the campaign, Wild Marlow will award gold, silver and bronze awards to those who satisfy three different levels of criteria.

Categories include garden management, wildlife food features, wildlife shelter features and garden water features.

All members awarded a gold certificate will be eligible to purchase a Wild Marlow blue heart to display in their garden or wildlife area.

Visit www.wildmarlow.org.uk for more.

MARLOW: A primary school has been rewilding its school grounds to provide a haven for wildlife.

Marlow C of E School, in Sandygate Road, is a holder of the Green Flag Award and recently declared a climate emergency.

Headteacher Sharon Reynolds, with parent Natasha Somers, has spearheaded a project to rewild a three-foot deep strip of land lining one side of the school field.

On February 27, 12 employees at IT solutions company, Softcat, joined Natasha and Vicki Clarke, another parent, to prepare the ground for planting about 70 meters of native hedgerow, donated by The Woodland Trust and the school’s PTA.

Natasha said: “This is an inspiring commitment from the school. With large areas of playing fields often in the centre of towns, schools have a unique opportunity to help reverse biodiversity decline with this kind of important work.”

MARLOW: Great Marlow School is to host the first ‘Marlow Schools’ Eco Conference’.

The event, on Thursday, March 26, is being organised with Sustainable Marlow, the Town Council’s environmental initiative, and will also be attended by the 13 schools in the town.

The aim of the conference is to ‘inspire’ Marlow schoolchildren to tackle environmental challenges.

Kevin Ford, headteacher at Great Marlow School, said: “Our children are growing up with environmental issues in the news and their passion is astounding.

“We want to harness that.”

MARLOW: A Rotary Club of Marlow charity music concert will return to All Saints Church next week.

The orchestras and choir of the Chiltern Music Academy will be performing in The Causeway on Saturday, March 21.

Tickets for the 7.30pm show are available from Rotarian Lance Slater on 01628 484323 and lms37@outlook.com, or on the door. They include a free glass of wine or a soft drink. Adults are £12 and under 18’s £6.

Proceeds will be donated to the Academy and Rotary charities.

BUCKS: The county’s road funding has been boosted by a £1.2million Government grant.

Buckinghamshire County Council is one of 32 authorities outside London to win a share of the Department for Transport’s £93.4million Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.

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