This is how a new café and office complex in High Wycombe’s town centre will look – as plans to replace a dilapidated former book shop move forward.

The old Ottakar’s bookstore on White Hart Street has been knocked down and will eventually be turned into either one or two ground floor café units, with a single office space on the floor above.


Before demolition, the building was an abandoned discount store that was described as an “eyesore” – but it was bought by Wycombe District Council from an offshore absentee landlord so they could revamp it.

The council’s plans to regenerate the building were given the green light in July – and these new pictures show how the quirky new building will look.

Plans describe the new design as “architecturally striking” and “simple but elegant” – with bi-fold doors leading out from the cafes to the outdoor seating area.

The seating areas outside the café that are under cover will be closed off at night with “discreet” shutters to prevent anti-social behaviour – but the High Wycombe Society had objected to these.

Heather Morley, on behalf of the society, wrote that the use of external metal shutters “gives the impression of being in a ghetto-style problem area” and said they would welcome a design without them.

Eight cycle spaces will also be introduced.

The council hopes to attract some new independent eateries to the building and is urging entrepreneurs to get in touch.

Cllr Steve Broadbent, cabinet member for economic development and regeneration at Wycombe District Council said: “The scheme is aimed at attracting new independent restaurants following the council’s success with Lata Lata, Mad Squirrel and The Works.

“If there are any vegan restaurant/deli/alcohol-free bar entrepreneurs out there, please get in touch at”