West Sussex County Times

Starting point must be right

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I was pleased to see the announceme­nt in last week’s County Times that Chesworth Farm had been designated as a ‘local wildlife site’.

However, it did rather take me by surprise as the original suggestion in the council’s 2013-2023 Green Space Strategy had been that it would be ideal to designate the area as a ‘local nature reserve’ (LNR).

The lack of action for nearly eight years has never made any sense.

The other problem, which cannot be ignored, is that neither designatio­n has any statutory significan­ce – its protection relies solely on HDC’s local plan.

We saw this a few years ago when part of Warnham LNR was taken to create the existing golf course at Rookwood Farm.

I’d suggest that what we need to see for Horsham District is an analysis of accessible natural green space using the ANGSt approach proposed by Natural England.

It was this analysis in 2013 that suggested the reason for giving Chesworth Farm LNR status.

It seems clear that we are going to be expected to build more and more dwellings in our area. Let’s at least get the starting point right.

It wasn’t right in 2013 so let’s make sure that at least it’s right before we produce the next local plan.

We can then identify what green spaces must be protected so as to provide today’s residents with some hope of a continuing quality of life, wherever they live.

DAVID MOORE Swindon Road, Horsham

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