Aviva’s decision to back out of plans for a sustainable 1,000-home village on the Gomm Valley has been slammed – and MP Steve Baker has shared his “alarm” at the news.

On Friday, it was revealed that Aviva, the owners of the 70-hectare Gomm Valley in High Wycombe, have sold it to an anonymous company - throwing away years of work with developer Human Nature to build what was tipped to be one of the “greenest and most elegant” developments in England.

While many in High Wycombe did not want the Gomm Valley – an important wildlife habitat – to be built on at all, some saw Human Nature’s plans as the next best alternative because they wanted to create a “low carbon community”.

Named Little Haldens, the Gomm Valley would have housed cafes, shops, 1,000 homes, a school, nursery and community facilities, with plans for e-bikes, green corridors, gardens, community allotments and 4,000 new trees.

Claiming Aviva wanted to maximise profit, Human Nature slammed them for backing out of the plans and have now urged them to “do the right thing” and hand the land back to the community so it can be kept a wildlife haven instead of building cheaper homes on the site.

Wycombe MP Steve Baker said Aviva’s apparent decision has caused him “very considerable alarm”.

He said on Friday: “It was an extremely environmentally sympathetic proposal, one which increased the environmental amenity of the valley whilst also having some modern environmentally friendly housing on it. It was a great scheme.

“Unfortunately today, though, I have heard that Aviva Investors look like they’re walking away from the environmentally positive scheme and seem likely to be doing something else.

“That causes me very considerable alarm on this area of acute interest to local people.

“I have tried to reach out to Aviva, unfortunately they are not answering the phones on this Friday before a Bank Holiday but I can assure local people I will be paying the very closest interest to this proposal for the Gomm Valley.

“What we need if we’re going to have development at all is high quality, environmentally positive and sustainable development of this site – the kind that was previously proposed.”

James Boultbee, CEO of Wycombe Homeless Connection, agreed with Mr Baker. He said: “I went to the site open day, it was an inspiring plan to develop more local housing whilst improving access to nature and even doing some environmental good.

“Showed how dealing with the housing crisis and protecting the environment don't have to be at odds.”

Cllr Isobel Darby added that she was “shocked and saddened” that the “inspirational” plan may now not be going ahead.

She said: “So sad that a developer with an environmental conscience has been passed over for profit after investing so much into a plan which was well received locally.”

Cllr Katrina Wood, who was leader of Wycombe District Council when the plans were first revealed, said she was “really disheartened” to hear the news.

The Hands Off Gomm Valley campaigners have said Buckinghamshire Council now needs to step in to protect the important green space.

Ian Morton said: “Bucks Council must take immediate steps to protect Gomm Valley from developers.

“Our group was always sceptical of the plans and the increase in the numbers of houses proposed was far in excess of what the council had originally agreed to in the local plan.

“As anyone who visits B&Q and ALDI in Gomm Road can testify; the surrounding roads and infrastructure cannot cope now let alone with another 1000 + cars that this development would have caused.

“Bucks Council can show it is serious about protecting our environment, supporting our farmers and improving the wellbeing of Bucks residents by turning Gomm Valley into a country park.

“It can be used to showcase the government’s new Environmental Land Management scheme which will incentivise sustainable farming practices, create habitats for nature recovery and establish new woodland to help tackle climate change.”

Paula Lee added: “The mood in the country has changed and there is now a greater awareness of the benefits of our local countryside. Bucks Council needs to pause and rethink their plans for Gomm Valley.”