COMMON land should remain just that, it is part of the area’s history and heritage, and should not be swapped, says a former Beaconsfield resident.

Charlie Broadbridge, who first moved to Beaconsfield in 1956, believes the land swap could even set a precedent and completely change the future landscape of Beaconsfield.

In a letter to the council, Mr Broadbridge said: "No account has been taken in this proposal for the history of the town. A little ironic when one reads the town nameplates at each entrance point to Beaconsfield, proudly proclaiming 'Historic Market Town'."

He added: "The proposed area for swap is entirely useless for any purpose I can see.

"What conceivable use would this scrubland be for common land? It leads nowhere. It is so isolated, that a few years ago the body of some poor woman who had been murdered, was buried almost alongside the A40 and on the boundary of the proposed 'swap'.

"There is not a proper footpath along lengths of that side of the road, nor car parking, the provision of which would be precluded presumably by green belt status.

"If that is not so, then why, on a purely philanthropic gesture by the owner, can that land not be given over for use as a car park?"

Despite now living in High Wycombe, the 61-year-old still feels because of family ties he like others are allowed to have an opinion on the proposed changes.

He said: "It has been announced that direct contact will only be made to those within a 500 metre radius of the proposed area. Common land is common to all people, visitors, whoever, not just residents or occupiers within a 500 metre radius."

South Bucks District Councillor Nick Naylor, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: "Introducing new parking controls would allow people to visit the Old Town knowing that finding somewhere to park near the shops won’t be a problem.

"I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and have their say."