Formal objection to 553-acre Center Parcs plans on the outskirts of Crawley being considered by councillors

Councillors are to consider formally objecting to plans to build a 553-acre Center Parcs holiday village on the outskirts of Crawley.
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A notice of motion ‘to protect Worth Forest’ is due to be tabled at a meeting of the borough council on Wednesday (October 19).

Drawn up by Kim Jaggard (Con, Maidenbower) and seconded by Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green), the motion 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 of use of the site.

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Crawley Center Parcs: All you need to know
Exterior views of Woodland Lodges at Woburn Forest's Center ParcsExterior views of Woodland Lodges at Woburn Forest's Center Parcs
Exterior views of Woodland Lodges at Woburn Forest's Center Parcs
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Center Parcs wants to build the £350-400m holiday village at Oldhouse Warren, off Balcombe Road. It is expected to hold 900 lodges and create 1,500 permanent jobs once operational.

While the jobs would be no doubt be welcomed, concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of such a site.

The Sussex Planning for Nature Group, which is made up of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, the Woodland Trust, CPRE Sussex and the Sussex Ornithological Society sent an open letter to Centre Parcs laying out its concerns.

The group said: “Oldhouse Warren and the surrounding landscape make up the remnants of Worth Forest, a once medieval hunting forest and an integral part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Councillors are to consider formally objecting to plans to build a 553-acre Centre Parcs holiday village on the outskirts of Crawley. Image: Centre ParcsCouncillors are to consider formally objecting to plans to build a 553-acre Centre Parcs holiday village on the outskirts of Crawley. Image: Centre Parcs
Councillors are to consider formally objecting to plans to build a 553-acre Centre Parcs holiday village on the outskirts of Crawley. Image: Centre Parcs
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“This ancient woodland site is a habitat rich with nationally rare archaeological and ecological features, including veteran trees, and also neighbours an area of Site of Special Scientific Interest ancient ghyll woodland.

“It is for this reason that we are asking Center Parcs to reconsider developing here.”

On first revealing the plans, Center Parcs’ chief executive Martin Dalby, said: “It is really exciting to have identified a potential site for another Center Parcs village in the UK.

“The proposal we will be submitting will create a significant number of jobs and bring major benefits to the local and national economy.”

The council meeting will be held at the Charis Centre, West Green Drive, from 7.30pm.

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