Trustees of the now famed Trevalga Manor Estate say its time they “mount their defence” against campaigners fighting for the halt of the estate’s sale.

John Wakeham, 79, has been a trustee of the Gerald Curgenven will trust for more than four decades and now he has fired his own shot at campaigners fighting in the “Battle for Trevalga”.

In a letter to the tenants of the estate, Mr Wakeham wrote: “It has been nearly 12 weeks since my meeting with Trevalga’s tenants in the village hall at Boscastle where my co-trustee Rebecca Perry and I, explained in detail why the time has come for the Trevalga Manor Estate to be sold, and our intention to sell it in its entirety to provide the best chance of protecting the existing tenancies and the character of the estate.

“Having taken the time and trouble to explain and answer questions, it has been very distressing to see how our messages have been manipulated and our reputations maligned. Moreover, the likelihood of a sale to a benevolent buyer is diminishing with every public threat of “battle”.

“Now the time has come for us to mount our defence in the “Battle for Trevalga”, said Mr Wakeham.

As trustees, Mr Wakeham,, Rebecca Perry, a commercial artist and hotelier, and Mark Bromell, a chartered surveyor, have a legal duty to pay Marlborough College the proceeds from the full market rents raised from all residential and farm tenancies on the estate. The trustees are also responsible for protecting the capital value of the estate.

Mr Wakeham explained: “Buildings don’t look after themselves, and the houses, cottages and farms left by Gerald Curgenven in 1959 have required maintenance over the past 63 years to ensure they remain fit for purpose.”

He continued: “Herein lies the problem. These old Cornish properties not only require an increasing level of repair, but also material improvements to meet today’s expectations. The only money available to the trustees is rental income, and Marlborough College as a registered charity itself requires its correct share of that income.

“Any improvements, or modernisation, of the properties cannot come from rental income and must come from borrowing or liquidating an asset, namely selling part of the estate. By selling individual properties we would begin the break-up of the estate, damaging value in this rare and integrated coastal mix of unspoilt property.”

Mr Wakeham offered words of comfort to tenants. He said: “Please be reassured that the decision to sell the Trevalga Manor Estate was not taken without careful consideration by the trustees and, in that decision, the care of the Trevalga community has been borne very much in mind.”

Residents of the estate have been campaigning for the prevention of the sale since 2010 and most recently held a local fete in the hope to encourage people to sign a petition calling for the Charity Commission to halt the sale.