Eastbourne’s MP has spoken out over the proposed sale of the freehold of farms on Eastbourne Downland.
In a statement, Caroline Ansell said, “There has been much criticism the council has been moving towards a sale of the Downland farm freehold 'on the quiet' so an edition of Eastbourne Review to every household asking is a good response to that.
“However, there are several problems with the Review because I think it should have given the campaigners’ side of the argument. To also pin the sale against funding for community groups in the town is certainly emotive. The poll asks only for opinions, the result will not be in any way defining, and I fear the council has missed a chance to properly consult with local people.
“I do not criticise the council for looking at this sale but there are significant concerns that may never be satisfied.
“At a constructive meeting I hosted between the council and campaigners on Friday (10 February), an important offer was made - that the campaign groups and I can co-write new covenants to protect the farms from unsympathetic development in the future. The campaign position at this point is that there is no protection to equal the council's ownership of the land - and of course, they're right.”