Portland Gardens Development – what’s it all about?

| |

Outline of the extensive Portland Gardens site

Portland Gardens is a sizeable chunk of land in effect “hidden” in the centre of Marlow, as shown in the Google Maps extract (bounded by Portland’s Alley on the left, West Street at the top, and the High Street on the right – and currently accessed via the lane to the right of Baroosh)

The land currently contains six terraced houses, six semi-detached houses and two detached houses , and had been owned by John Lewis Partnership who some time ago had intentions to develop a supermarket.

portland villas small
Portland Villas – emptied, boarded up and ready for improvements (photo from Mike Keighley)

However, Wycombe District Council has specifically earmarked the area for new housing, and developer Crest Nicholson has acquired the land and submitted plans for 63 new homes, as well as the modification of the 6 terraced houses known as “Portland Villas”


If planning permission is granted all existing properties except the six Portland Villas will be demolished – all residents are rental tenants and have been evicted.

The new development will contain a mixture of private homes and affordable homes.

Access will be via Malthouse Way (ie part of the brewery redevelopment)

portland plans
Plans from Crest Nicholson

The plans have evoked quite a response so far – positive and negative.

Examples of postive responses:

“There is a real need for housing in the Marlow area and a development of this kind will
provide a variety of accommodation for all age groups”

“…The site has often been subject to fly tipping not helped by the lack of proper street lighting and the fact that it is an unmade road without pavements or boundaries. ….Some of the current properties are in a dilapidated state with single glazing/poor insulation. the drains have often been blocked here and the electricity has failed on many occasions; clearly new infrastructure needs to be implemented……..”

“The refurbishment of Portland Villas and proposed new buildings are in keeping with the architectural style of Marlow and will sit well with the adjacent Brewery Development”

An example objection, in this case from the Chiltern Society

“With its many detached houses, this proposal is more suitable for a suburban site. It adds nothing to the centre of Marlow. The provision of public pedestrian routes through the scheme is inadequate. The layout is inward looking and defensive. It might just as well be a gated development. This is the last large undeveloped site in the centre of Marlow. It is a missed opportunity”

To look at the plans yourself – there is a lot to wade through – 98 documents at time of writing – then visit publicaccess.wycombe.gov.uk and search for Ref. No: 14/07196/FUL.

*UPDATE* Details of the houses are now available at: https://www.crestnicholson.com/developments/portland-gardens/


4 thoughts on “Portland Gardens Development – what’s it all about?”

  1. Marlow does not need more housing. The traffic is already congested disproportionately to the size of the town and our schools have little more capacity to cope with an increasing population.

    I would like to see a development that promotes a greater sense of community in the town. What about a community theatre with a commercial area where local businesses and farmers can sell their produce? They wouldn’t then have to rely on special events and could avoid exorbitant rents that are killing small scale enterprises on the High Street?

  2. Like many others of my age I was forced to move out of Marlow during the mid 80s gentrification. It was the only way we could get on the ladder. I would love to move back to my hometown but property scarcity has resulted in me not being able to afford to get back in. So personally, as an exciled Marlow man I welcome more properties… although I very much doubt the prices will be anything but unrealistically inflated. Rather than complaining about new homes being built the people of Marlow should think of the continuing cultural cleansing that will make it impossible for most of your children to live near you when they leave home. Even the relative new comers who changed the face of Marlow in the 80s (when they moved in and locals were forced out by the high prices you were prepared to pay) aren’t immune. Be careful what you campaign for…

  3. I completely agree with Nick Davidson in relation to the town being way too congested already & a need to keep the charm & appeal of the town is vital. Our High street has become a series of big chains or charity shops which is hugely depressing.. New ventures have no chance with greedy landlords ridiculous commercial rents.
    I sympathise with Martin re having to move out but that is normal in all towns across Britain. It’s what I & my siblings had to do to move on.. Evolution of life.
    Marlow simply isn’t big enough to accomodate the amount of people the development wishes to accommodate.
    This is a fact.. No one wants to hold back develpoment for good change & improvement.. This does not represent that in any way.

Comments are closed.

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded MyMarlow.co.uk in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

Previous article

MarlowFM – Hidden Gems Award Winners 2014

Family Fun Day at Marlow Fire Station – Sat 11th Oct

Next article