New temporary accommodation for Wycombe District
Providing more homes for people who need our help
We have ambitious plans to provide more homes for people who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless, and need help with temporary accommodation.
Currently, we are working on plans to increase our own temporary accommodation provision by approximately 65 per cent. This will help us to meet our local need and provide a much better living environment for the people that need our help. We want to build new accommodation that will bring people in temporary accommodation closer to the local services they need including transport facilities, council offices, GP surgeries, schools, faith centres, as well as other support services.
The current temporary accommodation provision is in a remote rural location at Saunderton Lodge, situated about six miles outside High Wycombe.
The building, which is 90 years old, has 34 units. It was not purpose built and although it continues to provide accommodation, we are aware of its current limitations for those who live there, despite the excellent service provided by our officers and the services who assist us.
We have thoroughly explored the options of increasing the number of units and refurbishing what is currently available. Neither option was considered to be viable, given the age and limitations of the building, and its location.
Proposed new location
The proposed location is currently a surface car park operated by Wycombe District Council. We are planning to use this land to build the new temporary accommodation scheme. We will re-provide all the car parking spaces just around the corner in Baker Street to ensure we continue to meet local needs for car parking. More information will be available about this as plans progress.
The changing face of Desborough
The Desborough area of High Wycombe is changing. Wycombe District Council has been actively supporting this change over recent years by facilitating, developing and investing in the Desborough Road corridor and surrounding area. To date, this has included acquiring St John’s Church for the Wycombe Arts Centre, facilitating the arrival of Lidl into Desborough Avenue, road improvements to encourage modernisation, and other redevelopments of local buildings.
Desborough already has a vibrant community with independent local traders and, over the next few years, the new commercial and residential developments will change the look and feel of this part of town along the alternative route. New apartments are being built at Centre Square behind the Eden shopping centre and in former office accommodation like Buckingham House. There is now an Aldi food store which opened in September, a new creative centre in the Baker Streeet area, which is due to be completed in spring next year, and new apartments are being created in the former furniture warehouses at Leigh Street.
We are currently developing designs and plans with a view to submitting a planning application later this year. As part of this we will be holding a public exhibition on 18 October at Wycombe Arts Centre from 1pm to 8pm. We will be showing plans and seeking feedback from the public and stakeholders at this event and during a consultation which will run from 18-31 October. This feedback will help us refine our proposal before we then submit an application for planning permission. We will add more details to this page when we have dates.