GRASSLAND designated as public open space following outline consent for 135 houses in an area of outstanding natural beauty at Sturt Farm in Haslemere, looks set to be managed by the town council.

Members agreed in principle at their last full council meeting to take charge of the nine acre suitable alternative natural green space (SANG) provided to mitigate the impact of building the new homes on the Wealden Heaths special protection area.

The development site was put on the market earlier this year and estate agents Clarke Gammon Weller confirmed this week that a buyer had come forwards and the sale was due to be finalised within the next eight weeks.

The SANG will include a circular walk and new footpaths with information boards.

Agreed works will be completed before the town council takes over and it will receive an endowment of £287,000 to pay for ongoing management.

Members agreed to meet the developer and come up with a detailed costed recommendation.

Cllr Peter Isherwood said: “The SANG has to be up and running before the first house is occupied.

“I’m all in favour. We’ve been talking about Sturt Farm since 2008 and the first plan.

“This is the one chance of affordable homes.”

Cllr Nikki Barton responded: “The local countryside will be impacted and Sturt Farm. It’s a very challenging development.”

Town mayor Cllr John Robini said: “Natural England and Waverley Borough Council have accepted we are best placed to manage it.

“The most important thing is looking after the ecology.

“The idea is we will have a lump of money given to us. It will come out of the section 106 agreement.”