Developer denies claims of improper conduct on Elms housing development

An artist's impression of the plan for the Elms in Thame
An artist's impression of the plan for the Elms in Thame

The man behind controversial plans to build 45 homes in the heart of Thame has denied claims his company has acted ‘improperly’ to get the development approved.

Simon Vickers, chairman of Rectory Homes, also moved to deny that the proposed Elms housing development will decimate open space.

The proposed development, allocated as a site for new homes in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan, has drawn much criticism, with hundreds of people petitioning against it and the loss of green space.

Addressing concerns about the way the process has been handled, Mr Vickers wrote in The Thame Gazette this week: “I do understand that there will always be objections to any proposed development.

“The objectors writing in however are for the most part pursuing a line of attack that my company and the town council acted improperly in its adoption. This is quite patently untrue.

“All my company is doing is exactly what the Government is urging and that is provide good quality homes in a highly sustainable location following a multi-award winning neighbourhood plan process.

“It is quite clear on the council’s website that the consultations including our site were exhaustive and subjected to scrutiny by South Oxfordshire District Council and an independent examiner. This plan is now adopted.”

Mr Vickers added that, despite fears about the open space, Elms Park will remain undeveloped.

He said: “The proposal for housing is on the privately owned land to the rear of Elms House to which no one has access at present. It will result in less than half of the area being developed.”