The proposed sale of the downland farms is ill thought out, with short-term gain seemingly the only benefit to selling our heritage.
The borough council claims that existing covenants will continue to protect the downland, but experience has demonstrated that even the most strict covenants are regularly negated by the Lands Tribunal, even those to which the borough council has been a signatory.
Additionally, if sold, the council will have no say in how the farmland is managed or used, and the South Downs National Park Authority will be equally powerless.
Undoubtedly pressure to develop land for housing on the fringes will increase and again the prospect of short-term gain may appear attractive. The downland area and its farms were bought in perpetuity for the benefit of Eastbourne and its people, and any attempt to sell our heritage must be firmly resisted.