Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth has welcomed news that the council has paused the process of selling downland sites in Poynings and at Plumpton Hill.
Brighton and Hove City Council stressed today that it was only a pause and that the sale would go ahead.
The council said: “The story reported today is incorrect as the sales of a very small part of the downland estate, equivalent to 1 per cent, will still take place as previously agreed by the all-party Policy and Resources Committee.
“We were asked by a few councillors to pause the process while we answer some questions but we will be continuing with the sale of the land.”
Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, described the proposed sell-off as contentious and added: “If the council is really calling a halt to the downland sales then this is good news and the right thing to do.
“We’re pleased that our campaigning as part of Keep Our Downs Public has had an impact and that we’ve been listened to.
“The sales haven’t been handled in the most transparent and open way and this has caused great upset and concern.
“However, we will wait to hear that the sell-off has been permanently shelved before we celebrate.
“This cannot be allowed to happen again. The downland estate is an important part of our heritage and vital for our health and wellbeing. It is too precious to be sold off.”