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Raymond Blanc restaurant chain has Little Marlow pub plans thrown out

James Harrison

A celebrity chef’s restaurant chain has had its plans for a historic pub thrown out.

The White Brasserie Company, part of Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc group, saw its scheme for the King’s Head, in Church Road, Little Marlow, rejected on Wednesday, August 23.

Wycombe District Council’s planning committee was concerned about the potential impact on parking the expansion of the business would have and voted to refuse the application,

ignoring a recommendation by planning officers that it be approved.

Permission was being sought to extend the building, which is currently vacant, to connect to an existing pavilion outbuilding, which could then be converted to a new kitchen and extra dining space added, among other improvements.

But according to objectors, this would be able to accommodate more than 200 customers at a time and place unacceptable strain on parking.

“For me, this is a non-starter for that very reason,” said Cllr David Johncock (Con, Flackwell Heath and Little Marlow), cabinet member for planning. “If the applicant is unwilling or unable to look at other parking then we’re faced with a refusal.

“Given the choice, I would rather see it converted to a residential dwelling than this. Do we want it back in use, yes – but not at any cost.”

William Northcroft, who addressed the meeting on behalf of the Little Marlow Residents’ Association, said the plans ‘defied any logic’ and compared them to ‘[Admiral] Nelson holding the telescope to his blind eye and saying I see no ships’.

The panel also threw out proposals to add 42 bedrooms to a Bourne End care home.

As well as accommodation space, Chilterns Manor, in Northern Heights, was seeking to add kitchens and dining space, a nail and hair salon and library.

However, although planning officers had recommended the scheme for approval and a similar application had been given the green light in 2014, councillors voted to reject the plans.

Concerns centred on parking and congestion as well as the scale of the development, which was called a ‘gross overdevelopment’ by Cllr Tony Lee (Con, Bourne End cum Hedsor).

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