HE is remembered as the slick rick with a wicked laugh and dodgy car deals.

But for one housing developer it doesn’t matter if he is a much-loved character from one of the most popular British sitcoms of all time.

Cala Homes, which is building new homes in Park Road in Winchester, has allegedly told residents that their suggested name for the site, Voysey, sounds too similar to Boycie, of Only Fools and Horses.

Today the actor himself, John Challis, has said he ‘demands an apology’ for his name being tarnished.

“You couldn't, as they say, make it up,” said resident Chris Sealey.

He says locals have suggested naming the development after a well-known 20th century architect and designer, Charles Voysey.

He lived out his final days in nearby Park House, a care home in Park Road which closed in 2009, before he died in 1941. 

Mr Sealey, 73, retired, said: “I have spoken to Cala who tell me that they have considered this and rejected it on the basis that ‘Voysey’ is too close in sound to ‘Boycie’, the character from Only Fools and Horses, and they did not wish people to make this association with such a prestigious development.

“Quite frankly, no one is going to make the connection.”

His opinion is shared by ward councillor Jim Maynard, who said: “It sounds a bit daft. I heard that they [Cala Homes] weren’t happy about it but I don’t believe that people would make that connection. It’s ridiculous.”

Cala Homes has listed the development on its website as Clarendon Court, after the 24-mile walk linking Winchester with Salisbury.

A spokeswoman for Cala Homes said Clarendon Court is the “chosen marketing name for the development” and it has been submitted to the city council as the official posting address.

“It is the decision of the council as to whether this name is permanently adopted,” she said.

When asked about the Boycie comments, she said: “Any comment that may have been made by an individual certainly does not reflect the views of Cala Homes and we apologise for any offence this may have caused.”

The Hampshire Chronicle contacted John Challis, who played Boycie.

He said: “For Gawd's sake, tell them to stop being so bloody stupid. Voysey is a well respected name in the area and a perfect choice. Anyway, how dare the developers insinuate that Boycie's name denotes any sense of nefariousness? I find it very offensive that my name should be tarnished in this way. I demand an apology.”