The Center Parcs Sussex site near Crawley is facing opposition

Wildlife activists and conservative councilors are fighting plans for a new Center Parcs to save ancient forests.

Environmental groups have written an open letter to Center Parcs and councilors are considering formally objecting to Center Parcs’ plans to build a 240-acre holiday village on the outskirts of Crawley.

A motion to protect Worth Forest is due to be tabled at a council meeting on Wednesday.

The motion, authored by Councilor Kim Jaggard and supported by Councilor Duncan Crow, calls on Chief Executive Natalie Brahma-Pearl to write to both Center Parcs and Mid-Sussex District Council setting out Crawley’s concerns about such a change in use of the site.

Center Parcs plans to build the £350-400m holiday village at Oldhouse Warren on Balcombe Road.

It is expected to house 900 lodges and create 1,500 permanent jobs once operational.

However, concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of such a site.

The Sussex Planning for Nature Group, made up of Sussex Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Woodland Trust, CPRE Sussex and Sussex Ornithological Society, has sent an open letter to Center Parcs outlining their concerns.

The group said: “Oldhouse Warren and the surrounding countryside form the remains of Worth Forest, a once medieval hunting forest and an integral part of the High Weald Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“This ancient woodland site is a habitat rich in nationally rare archaeological and ecological features, including ancient trees, and also borders an Area of ​​Ancient Ghyll Forest of Special Scientific Interest.

“For this reason we ask Center Parcs to reconsider the development here.”

The Argus reported last year how the organizations said in a joint statement that the development would “rip the heart out of Oldhouse Warren’s irreplaceable ancient woodland” resulting in “irreversible loss of wildlife habitat”.

In keeping with Center Parcs’ other holiday villages, the site at Oldhouse will include Warren Lodges, a range of indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, a sub-tropical swimming paradise, a variety of restaurants and shops and an Aqua Sana Spa.

The Council meeting will take place at the Charis Centre, West Green Drive, from 7.30pm. The Center Parcs Sussex site near Crawley is facing opposition

Fry Electronics Team

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