The public has called for a consultation, now Conservatives in Eastbourne want a referendum into the future of farms on the Downs.
Tory councillors at Town Hall, have written to the Leader of the Borough Council, David Tutt, and the Chief Executive, Rob Cottrill demanding a public vote into the proposed sale, which the Liberal Democrat authority say is needed to fund other major projects to improve the town.
It is being proposed the referendum should take place on the same day as elections in May 2017 to minimise costs.
Leader of the Conservative Group, Tony Freebody, commented, “The Downlands were purchased for the benefit of Eastbourne residents, following an Act of Parliament, in 1926. We believe it is right to let the people of Eastbourne decide.
"I have written to Councillor Tutt and Rob Cottrill asking them to postpone the sale of the Downland farms and to put the issue directly to the people of Eastbourne, by way of a local referendum; therefore, giving local residents a voice and a chance to decide the future of this treasured asset."
Meads Councillor Robert Smart added, “I attended the recent meeting at which Councillor Tutt tried to explain the rationale for the sale. Although Councillor Tutt announced the potential expenditure on a new Sovereign Centre, amongst other projects, the case for “selling the family silver” has not been made.”
A petition against the proposed sale, has so far seen over 3,000 sign.