There are plans for up to 10,000 new houses to be built as part of a new development close to the Sussex village of Henfield. If planning permission is obtained the building will start in 2017 and is estimated to take 20 years to complete. The developers want to create a new town with infrastructure, schools, and shops that they hope will provide jobs for up to 10,000 people.
If it goes ahead as planned the development will involve the loss of a large area of farmland that is important for Nightingales, a species of conservation concern in the UK (listed as Amber on the conservation priority scale). The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) have said that the development could leave the birds with nowhere to go.
The planned site for the development encompasses a wide range of habitats which support a wide diversity of species. The developers have started with preliminary ecological surveys which will lead to a more in-depth look at the environmental impact of the plans.
A Rocha UK Comments: We are not opposed to new developments where wildlife agencies are consulted, but to ride roughshod over good conservation policy and permit development on areas of high biodiversity would be foolish in the extreme.
Source: BBC website April 2014