The owner of Gomm Valley has sensationally been accused of "washing its hands" of plans for a 1,000-home 'sustainable' village - because it wants to "make more money".

Developers Human Nature - the driving force behind the huge housing plans for the Gomm Valley - have come out today to claim their team have been "used as a Trojan horse" by Aviva, the owners of the land.

Plans to turn the 70-hectare Gomm Valley, a former High Wycombe reserve site, into a sustainable and green 1,000-home village called Little Haldens have now been thrown into chaos.

In a joint statement, Human Nature founders Jonathan Smales and Michael Manolson say Aviva has decided to sell its land to an anonymous company despite four years of painstakingly crafting an eco-development on the site.

They now say that the Gomm Valley should be re-wilded and turned into a nature reserve because the possibility of creating a "bespoke elegant solution for a genuinely sustainable community in the last unbuilt Chiltern valley in Wycombe" is remote.

Human Nature say they were informed on April 25 by Aviva that they would be selling its land, without conditions, to an anonymous development PLC.

Jonathan Smales said: "“This brings to an end a four year exercise in which we and a group of highly dedicated, expert, passionate and deeply thoughtful specialists have been immersed in planning and designing with the intent to build a new kind of genuinely sustainable development.

"Our intent has been to house families well while respecting and honouring the valley setting and establishing new standards of ecological, low impact design across the entire scheme. Our team is heartbroken.

"“Our proposals included the regeneration of precious chalk grassland, the planting of thousands of semimature trees, protecting ancient woodland and the Site of Special Scientific Interest, securing long term management through a local trust, making beautiful walkable streets that wind slowly along the contours of the valley and with a cycle lane for children rather than building a race-track for through traffic, and designing and building a wide range of elegant zero carbon homes for people of all backgrounds and incomes.

"While the scheme as proposed is profitable, the costs of achieving this level of sustainability meant that the future land receipt to Aviva was, while still substantial, less than it had originally hoped for.

"They called on us to cut cost allocations for these essential landscape and ecological features and dumb down the public realm – streets, public spaces and facilities - so that they could make more money.

"But the Gomm Valley is no normal ‘development’ site, nor do we live in normal times - we face a climate emergency and a crisis in the natural world.

"This is not a place, or a time, for the crass land speculation this now appears to be.

"We believe that we and our team have been used as a Trojan Horse, our values abused, our promises to and bonds with local organisations and people broken, so that Aviva can wash its hands of a challenging scheme and pocket the cash under cover of what it calls its ‘fiduciary duty’ to its own investors.

"We think their investors should be horrified. The banal and abstract nature of the term ‘fiduciary duty’, wielded by real estate bureaucrats from a tower in Central London, belies a cynical manoeuvre without a thought for the valley, the climate, nature, people who live nearby and the people who might live there in the future."

Human Nature have called on Aviva to "do the right thing" and "abandon the sale of the Gomm Valley and instead make a gift of the land to local and regional conservation charities" - name-dropping Chiltern Rangers, the Wildlife Trust and the Chiltern Society and Conservation Board.