Earmarking land at Buck Barn for development condemned as ‘environmental vandalism’

Council officers who have pinpointed land at Buck Barn for a major housing development are being accused of ‘environmental vandalism.’

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 3:02 pm

The land at Buck Barn is one of four sites being recommended for development by Horsham District Council officers.

But Dave Tidey of the West Grinstead Action Group hit out at the proposals.

“This is anything but local democracy in action,” he said.

The Buck Barn site where developers want to build 3,500 houses

“Planning officers at Horsham District have apparently ignored a petition containing 20,000 signatures opposing a settlement at Buck Barn.”

He added: “Officers have clearly had to suppress their own nature recovery strategy - outlined in the document ‘Wilder Horsham District’ - to come up with these plans.

“They know building at Buck Barn, which neighbours the world famous Knepp estate, is tantamount to environmental vandalism.

“I believe the process which has led them to this point is flawed and we will be challenging this plan at every stage.”

Owners of the Knepp Estate - Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell - have already denounced the Buck Barn proposals as‘dumping concrete’ on a strategic nature site.

Council officers are recommending the four development sites - which include Southwater, Billingshurst and land west of Ifield as well as Buck Barn- to be included in Horsham’s local plan review which is due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet next Thursday (July 15).

If agreed, the document would go to the full council and then be published for a six-week period of public representation before being submitted to the planning inspector for an independent examination.