A Pulborough conservationist and author says the latest government plans to kick-start house building pays lip-service to areas of rare wildlife.
Owen Paterson, environment secretary, suggested earlier this month that communities would receive credits to spend on wildlife and conservation projects in return for allowing housebuilding on sensitive sites.
However, Martin Dale, who lives in Stane Street Close, Pulborough, thought the proposals were paying lip-service to local communities and the environment.
“This also just proves to me that Government still is unable to comprehend the fact of an ecosystem being of wider scale than just the field boundaries of an application site,” he said.
“Some species require such a specialised environment that another similar site might not be for many miles and therefore clearly not within the area of benefit and cause considerable harm to the local ecosystems.”
At a Pulborough Parish Council meeting in May 2012 Mr Dale raised evidence identifying rare species on a nearby site earmarked for 100 new homes in the village, and he is involved in the Campaign to Protect Rural Pulborough Village (CPRPV).
He released a book on Pulborough’s war dead in late 2012, and is currently researching another on Pulborough parish.
He said: “I can see why Mr Paterson is suggesting this idea - as an attempt to overcome local residents’ concerns when development is proposed for greenfield sites,” he added.
“In all, I can just see it as another tool to allow developers to be able to build more or less what they want where they want on more profitable greenfield land with little consideration for the welfare of the local community - both people and wildlife alike.”
He feared proposals were akin to a ‘growth at any cost’ policy, with development preferred on greenfield and not brownfield sites.