Help us stop Center Parcs’ development in Worth Forest

23rd November 2021

Today (23 November 2021) CPRE Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust, the RSPB and the Sussex Ornithological Society have issued a joint press release opposing  Center Parc’s proposed development at Oldhouse Warren.

The proposed site is an extremely environmentally sensitive location and a wholly unsustainable place for a major holiday spa.

Read: Press release: www.cpresussex.org.uk/resources/environmental-groups-oppose-center-parcs-development-in-worth-forest/

In July 2021 Center Parcs announced that they intended to seek planning permission to develop a new large leisure complex at Oldhouse Warren near M23 junction 10A between Worth and Balcombe. Whilst we have not yet seen their detailed plans; we expect that it will involve major swimming and multi-franchise restaurant and retail complexes, 900 lodges and treehouses, forest trails and a spa that will be open to daily visitors as well as residents. The proposed site is in ancient woodland within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Mid Sussex District Council is required by law to give the highest status of protection  from development to such irreplaceable, specially designated areas.

Read: www.cpresussex.org.uk/news/center-parcs-picks-wrong-site-for-sussex-development/

We are not opposed to the principle of a suitably located Center Parcs in south-east England.  They are very popular short holiday destinations in woodland surroundings and they provide jobs.  But we are asking Center Parcs to find an alternative, much more sustainable, site; one where they can either revive an existing degraded woodland surround, or plant a new woodland.  That would provide a win-win solution all round, and benefit climate change reduction efforts.

Center Parcs has not yet applied to Mid Sussex District Council (the planning authority that would make the decision) for planning permission so we believe it is important that everyone opposed to the building of a leisure complex at Oldhouse Warren should act now.   We are contacting appropriate county, district and parish councillors but need your help.

If you share our concerns, please write to:

– the Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, Jonathan Ash-Edwards: jonathan.ash-edwards@midsussex.gov.uk

– your local MP:

Jeremy Quin, MP for Horsham: jeremy.quin.mp@parliament.uk (the site is in his constituency); or

Mims Davies, MP for Mid Sussex: mims.davies.mp@parliament.uk; or

Henry Smith,  MP for Crawley: henry.smith.mp@parliament.uk; or

Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs: Andrew@GriffithMP.com

You may also want to let your local district and/or parish councillors know your views, and you should feel free to tell Center Parcs directly what you think post on their Facebook Page using the hashtag #SaveOldhouseWarren.

Please copy your messages to CPRE Sussex: info@cpresussex.org.uk