Property developer is being sued over a dispute on a 460-house development on farm land in East Sussex

The owners of farm land in East Sussex, with planning consent for a huge development of 460 houses, are headed for a High Court showdown with a firm of property developers.

Barbara Flues, John Ball, Brian Rivett, and John Gutsell own land at Woolholm Farm and Welbury Farm in Hailsham, East Sussex, and agreed to sell this to developers Rydon Holdings, according to a High Court writ.

The sale was conditional on winning satisfactory planning consent for the land, and on reaching agreement over price.

Rydon Holdings won planning consents to build 460 swellings on the two adjoining farms in Hailsham in April 2006, but neither side has been able to agree a value for the land, and disagree over the exact meaning of a written agreement between them, the writ says.

To win planning consent, the local authority required the landowners to enter into s.106 agreements – agreements imposing legal obligations on them – and they believe that the developers should meet the costs of this.

Rydon Holdings disputes that it should meet the cost of the landowners’ payments to the planners.