HANSON UK has confirmed a bid has been accepted for the sale of Tice’s Meadow.
However, the buyer of the site has not yet been revealed, after Waverley Borough Council’s bid was rejected.
“The sale of Tice’s Meadow is nearing completion and we will share information and affect introductions with stakeholders once the process is complete,” said Paul Williams, head of land and mineral resources at Hanson UK.
He confirmed that any changes a new owner may wish to make will be “subject to the usual planning controls and the legally-binding 20 year Aftercare and Management Scheme”.
It follows a statement by Waverley borough councillor Mark Merryweather, portfolio holder for finance, assets and commercial services, who confirmed the council were “extremely disappointed” at the decision.
“Local residents and user groups have expressed concerns to me, that a purely commercial sale of the land could put its future as an award-winning community nature reserve at risk,” Councillor Merryweather continued.
“We worked hard to meet the requirements of Hanson’s sale process and their timeframe. We believe that our bid met all of their financial and commercial criteria while still protecting public money. We’ve asked Hanson to keep us informed and our door is always open for meaningful discussion.”
Waverley Borough Council deputy leader, Councillor Paul Follows, also voiced his concerns that the nature reserve “could potentially either be exploited or neglected by a new commercial owner”.
“We are united with the Farnham Town and Surrey County Councils in wanting to prevent that from happening,” Councillor Follows added.
Hanson UK previously acknowledged locals’ appeals to sell it to a suitable buyer, with a change.org petition by the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group seeing more than 5,000 signatures.