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Man walks away from $567 million offer to sell farm

Would you reject a £275 million (S$567 million) offer from developers for your farm?

Especially if the offer is 100 times what the farm is valued at.

Well, Briton Robert Worsley did - for an entirely selfless reason.

The Mail Online reported that he said he would be "doing a massive disfavour" to the community where he has lived all his life if he accepted the lucrative offer.

Mr Worsley, who is married with two daughters, said he didn't want to just take the money and run. 

The 48-year-old father of two has run a huge 550-acre farm in Sussex for the last 15 years. The land covers just one-seventh of the potential developement, set to comprise 10,000 homes, an academy, primary schools and shops.

Mr Worsley said he would be ‘doing a massive disfavour’ to the community where he has lived all his life if he ‘took the money and ran’ after being offered £275million for his 550-acre farm in Twineham, West Sussex

The developers, Mayfield Market Towns, approached Mr Worsley more than two years ago. 

The offer is 100 times more than the farm's current value. The developers have told him that the homes would help the community.

But Mr Worlsey has maintained that the current local infrastructure would not be able to cope with such a development.

"We are a rural community who don't want this development, who don't want to see Sussex ruined.

"I hope I am speaking for an awful lot of people who would have their quality of life diminished and the enjoyment of the countryside, which is the reason why they live here, diminished too."

He added: "It's not really about me. It's about the fact that Sussex is being eroded away."

Mr Worsley is also part of a club called Locals Against Mayfield Building Sprawl.

The district's MP said that the rejected offers has not stopped the developers.

Mr Nick Herbert said: "They persist in pursuing this proposal even after it has been rejected by one inquiry after one another."

He also said that the methods used by the company are bullying tactics, which have created a huge amount of "local resentment and blighted this area".

Mr Lee Newlyn, a director at Mayfield Market Towns, said: ‘There is a huge shortage of housing in this region and we believe that delivering these new homes in the form of a new town, with all the proper infrastructure and facilities in place, is a much more sustainable alternative to add-on development in and around existing towns and villages.’

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