Just when you thought there weren’t that many good people left in the world, especially where money is concerned, one British farmer has restored a whole community’s faith in humanity after refusing to sell his farm to land developers, even though he was offered a massive $410 million for it!
The ethical farmer in question, Robert Worsley, feels in his own words that he would be doing a “massive disfavor” to the community he has known and loved for so many years, not wanting to simply “take the money and run.”
The farm, located in Twineham, near Haywards Heath in West Sussex, sits on 550 glorious acres of land and has been run by Worsley for the last 15 years.
When land developers Mayfield approached him in 2013 with a handsome offer for his farm, he refused and continues to refuse to this day.
As he told reporters, “We don’t want to see Sussex denuded.”
As well as the support and thanks he has received from local community members, Worsley has also found a friend in Conservative MP Nick Herbert, who said yesterday that he did not approve of Mayfield’s tactics, referring to them as a “kite flying exercise by a greedy developer.”
The MP said, “The only comments they could possibly have had locally are negative ones. I have not encountered anyone in my constituency who wants me to support this development. They persist in pursuing this proposal even after it has been rejected by one inquiry after another.”
Herbert added, “I understand that landowners have been told by this developer, ‘You know you might as well give in – it’s going to come anyway so you might as well accept our cheque.’ The tactics of this company are really shoddy bullying tactics and it has created a huge amount of local resentment and blighted this area.”
For their part, Mayfield see nothing wrong with their generous offer for the farmland, as a director of the company, Lee Newlyn, said, ‘There is a huge shortage of housing in this region and we believe that delivering these new homes in the form of a new town, with all the proper infrastructure and facilities in place, is a much more sustainable alternative to add-on development in and around existing towns and villages.”
[Image credit: coolcamping.co.uk]