Over 150 people turned out to show solidarity against the sale of farm on Eastbourne downland today (3 December).
The rally and walk at Beachy Head saw support from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, South Downs National Park Authority, Green MP, Caroline Lucas and Green MEP, Keith Taylor. An online petition, has so far gathered more than 2,500 signatures, calling for the Borough Council to stop the sale.
The authority say they need to sell the land to fund other projects around the town, adding that upping council tax wouldn’t bring in enough revenue and would force them to borrow the money.
Andrew Durling from Eastbourne and District Friends of the Earth said, “We were delighted by the fantastic turn-out for our rally this morning. We counted over 150 people, undeterred by the cold and the wind in their determination to tell Eastbourne Borough Council to stop selling off the downland they hold dear. We are very grateful to Tony Whitbread, Chair of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, for being one of our speakers and explaining to us just why public ownership works so well in keeping this precious landscape managed properly for both people and wildlife.
“Councillor David Tutt really must start to listen to the people and the experts and immediately halt the farm sales so that we can all have a proper dialogue about the best way forward for a landscape that is supposed to be held in perpetuity by the town of Eastbourne. To sell off the farms now would be a profound breach of public trust and put the priceless natural heritage of Eastbourne at severe risk of becoming degraded beyond repair.”
The leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, David Tutt is encouraging anyone with concerns to submit them in writing and is assuring them, their worries will be thorough investigated, with all questions and answers to be released to the public.