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New leaders at HDC support green spaces

Horsham District Council has dropped its proposal to build houses on Rookwood Park Golf Course and the new leadership team has expressed a commitment to enhance local green spaces.

According to the West Sussex County Times, Tony Hogben, the new deputy leader for HDC said, “The council is now under new leadership and enhancing our green spaces and listening to public consultation are vital in building trust in our leadership.

This is great news for Muggeridge Field. Tony Hogben has already expressed his opposition to building on Muggeridge Field – as reported in WSCC election: Candidates give their views on Muggeridge Field.

In the latest version of the Horsham District Local Plan, which was issued this week, Muggeridge Field still hasn’t been allocated for development, despite the efforts of Henry Adams and West Sussex County Council to get it allocated. The Site Assessment Summary said, “The site lies within Chesworth Farm, which is an open area popular with local residents and of high amenity value and is also designated as a Local Wildlife Site. The landscape is highly sensitive to development, particularly in the north of the site, with sloping topography increasing the visual impact of any development on views from Public Rights of Way.

Given this site assessment and the commitment to green spaces from the HDC leadership, the future of Muggeridge field is looking more secure. However, West Sussex County Council remains a threat and they will have another opportunity to push for the development of Muggeridge Field when the Horsham District Local Plan is published later this year. The Keep Muggeridge Field Green group will continue to campaign for the permanent protection of Muggeridge Field.