The Green MEP for South East England has hailed the decision by Eastbourne Borough Council to reverse its plans to sell the downland farms.
Keith Taylor, said, “This welcome climbdown is great news for everybody involved in the ‘Keep our Downlands Public’ campaign in Eastbourne.
“The controversial plan to sell off the majority of Eastbourne council’s landholding in the South Downs inspired an organised, passionate and energetic campaign to stop the sales; their efforts must be commended.
“The deep connection the people of Eastbourne and surrounding areas have to this landscape was always going to be impossible to ignore.”
Mr Taylor, who is also Vice-Chair of the Local Government Association, continued, “Land included in the proposed sale was originally bought by the council in 1926, with huge public support, at a time when the future of the open downlands was under enormous threat from developers. It was bought for the benefit of the people of Eastbourne in perpetuity.
“Public ownership is still essential to upholding the aims of the National Park – to conserve and enhance natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment by the public.”