Nutley villagers are upset by talk of building affordable housing and retirement properties on land gifted as a war memorial.
The tennis and squash club currently has premises on the site but Nutley War Memorial Trust says the lease ran out in 2014 and it hasn’t been possible to agree a new one.
The trust describes the land as “very valuable” and says Wealden Council has advised it could be developed for affordable housing and retirement properties.
Trust chairman Les Wilcox says on Facebook: “This could release a substantial amount of funding for the trust, not only to be able to build the pre-school, but to also provide replacement tennis courts, and perhaps other outside amenities for the benefit of the village, such as all-season football and netball pitches.
“The funding could also be considered for helping the Fords Green pavilion project.
“In addition, we are hoping that it will provide the trust with a reserve which will be used to support the Nutley community into the future.
“The trust is designed to help and support the Nutley community and with the redistribution of assets the trust believe that they are fulfilling this aim.”
Once all the options are clear the trust plans to hold an event to explain them and discuss them in more detail.
“We will also take a direction from this meeting for the way forward.
“In the meantime, we would welcome your views, both in support, or against, the scheme, and also if you have any ideas that may contribute to this exciting opportunity for our village.”
People are asked to write to Nutley Community Project, Nutley War Memorial Hall, High Street, Nutley, TN22 3NE, and to include their name and address.
One of the villagers who responded to the Facebook post says its timing was “unfortunate” given that everyone was focussed on staying safe and didn’t need another issue to deal with at this time.
In addition concern was expressed that Wealden Council had been involved before club members and local residents.
Others didn’t want to see the popular tennis and squash club go.
Allan Curtis said, on behalf of the tennis and squash club: “We would like to clarify that the lease has actually been agreed in principle except for just one clause.
“Being a not for profit community organisation we could not accept the Memorial Trust’s demand for the introduction of a personal guarantee, this being a new term that wasn’t in the earlier lease.
“Everyone in the club works for the love of it, not personal profit, and it would be unreasonable to expect any our members to provide such a guarantee.”
• Read more about the history of the land held in trust as a war memorial here: Nutley War Memorial Trust