By Laura Brook
Sussex Wildlife Trust's attention has been drawn to a recent press release issued by Horsham District Council regarding amendments to the proposed development of Rookwood golf course.
Sussex Wildlife Trust is encouraged to see that Horsham District Council appear aware of the biodiversity concerns of Local Action Groups and conservation bodies such as Sussex Wildlife Trust. The ability of the District to absorb development without compromising the natural environment will be paramount in achieving a sustainable future for people and wildlife.
Sussex Wildlife Trust notes that the council has made a number of statements within the press release that suggest they will reduce the number of houses delivered on site. Driving this change appears to be a commitment from Horsham District Council to ensure biodiversity and that access to high quality green spaces is at the heart of any development that would take place on this site.
Sussex Wildlife Trust recognise that Horsham District Council is making it clear that they wish to work with the Trust and the Friends of Warnham Nature Reserve to help move forward their commitments to biodiversity on this site. Sussex Wildlife Trust needs to understand the Council's aspirations in more detail as well as how far this thinking has progressed.
Sussex Wildlife Trust is keen that any proposals for this site clearly demonstrate that they been driven by biodiversity, to ensure that connectivity and function of habitats is not compromised.
Sussex Wildlife Trust also would support and encourage Horsham District Council to ensure their thinking about this site is in the wider context of the District's Nature Recovery Network.
Taking this approach will help to ensure that gains to biodiversity on this site work to provide benefits for biodiversity in the long term.