A DEAL between two councils has safeguarded Middleton Pond and Green.
The agreement between Middleton and West Sussex councils secured the future of the village feature after nearly two years of talks.
In a statement, Middleton Parish Council clerk David Allsopp said: “In summary, both sides of the village green will be protected from development and the western-side freehold will be acquired by the parish council at no cost.”
The discussions began when the county council decided to end the current management arrangement for the site on Middleton Road and sell the land.
It believed the property is better owned and managed locally.
Parish councillors protested and talks followed. These led the county council to put forward a new proposal last month. This was debated in private by the parish councillors at their March meeting and accepted as the only realistic way forward.
The terms of the agreement will see the county council register the land on both the east – 344sq m – and west – 1,941sq m – sides of Middleton Pond and Green, which they own, as a village green.
“This will give legal protection to the land, stop vehicles parking on the area and prevent any development,” said Mr Allsopp.
The freehold of the west side will be given to the parish council and maintained by it forever.
The east side’s freehold, which will be fully protected by the village green status, will be aquired by the owners of the Manor House.
The flint wall in Middleton Road between the bus shelter and Sea Lane will be transferred into the ownership of the parish council.