LETTER: Put up rents – but keep farms

The four downland farms that Eastbourne is proposing to sell are part of the natural countryside and not part of the tourist entertaining facilities of a seaside resort.

If Eastbourne is having to spend more on these farms than the rents can cover, then the rents should be increased at the next legally possible moment. But the rents must not be raised to fund tourist developments elsewhere.

No incoming purchaser would be prepared to pay the millions referred to in order to gain these freeholds unless they were assured of an attractive return on their investment. Such a return could not be obtained by retaining the farms and could only be secured by launching some commercial development unacceptable under the original undertaking and requirement to preserve the undeveloped downland in perpetuity.

Eastbourne must put up the rents if the farms require it, but maintain the farms.

Michael Mordaunt

Birling Gap

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