March 2021, 'Natural England' (a Government adviser
for the natural environment in England) issued a message to Chichester
District, Horsham District, and Crawley Borough Councils, advising that “any developments ... which fall within the Sussex North
water resource supply zone (ed: this includes all of Kirdford Parish) will need
to be tested through an HRA (ed: Habitats Regulations Assessment). This is
because the Sussex North area is supplied by a water extraction at Hardham (ed:
near Pulborough), which we have advised cannot with certainty conclude is not
having an adverse impact on integrity on the Arun Valley SPA, SAC and Ramsar
(ed biodiverse areas of scientific interest) .... A water neutral approach is a
mechanism for avoiding impact if an alternative water supply cannot be
See below for full message.
Future developments in our Parish must be water neutral (use water recycling, grey water harvesting, reduced consumption). Kirdford Parish Council immediately asked Chichester District Council in March to suspend the CALA development in Chapel Field as this development did not include this design. After repeated requests, we were told in mid-September that because permission was granted in October 2019 (before this issue was raised), work could begin. KPC is contesting this point; our view is that we need to face the reality of today, not 2019.
In the months that followed, the other two councils have issued a 'position statement' declaring that all planning applications for new homes will have to be suspended pending a resolution to this issue. However, Chichester District Council have not done so and we have issued the following open letter to the council leadership:
E Lintill CDC 20.10.21.pdf Position_statement_on_Water_Neutrality_Sept_21_2021.pdf