The claim Horsham District Council has blamed housing targets for its decision to allocate land for development which has been identified by the famed Knepp estate as a vital wildlife corridor
The reality The council is required to plan for 1,200 new homes every year, but with a government minister opposing the development, there are hopes it can be avoided
Leader of Horsham District Council Ray Dawe said the development “wouldn’t undo” Knepp’s nature restoration efforts, although it could dent hopes for a nature corridor beyond the estate.
Dawe said there “was no wriggling out of the government requirement” to build more homes. According to him, government agency Homes England already has a plan to build 10,000 homes in the north of the district, but only 3,250 can be included in the new local plan “for reasons of timing”.
The council is now in contact with local MPs Jeremy Quin and Andrew Griffith to find a way around the rules so this site can be included in the plan, he said.
Dawe also suggested that Goldsmith should explain to his colleagues at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that “very special circumstances apply in this case”.