Rookwood Development

A Threat to the Nature Reserve

We strongly oppose the council plans to build on Rookwood Golf Course as the Rookwood development will undoubtedly damage the Reserve.

18 January 2021 –  Summary of HDC’s most recent proposal and FOWLNR response – Read the letter

29 October 2020 – FOWLNR response to HDC’s revised proposal for Rookwood Land – Read the letter

20 October 2020 – FOWLNR have replied to HDC’s second draft proposal for Rookwood Land – Read the letter

FOWNR have written an open letter to Horsham District Council. Read the letter.

Listen to Peter Simpson’s interview on Radio Sussex. Listen now.

Please Take Action

Please help us take action to stop this development. Read on to find out what you can do.

Please ACT NOW as time as limited.

Lobbying Councillors
Keep Rookwood Green Alliance
Friends submission to Local Plan Consultation process
A Summary of the Threat


Lobbying Councillors

As HDC have pushed out their timetable for finalising the Local Plan, there is still time to lobby councillors before they vote on the final content.

In mid June the Friends sent individual letter to all 48 HDC councillors urging them to preserve Rookwood as a green space (click here to see a copy). Rather disappointingly, after 2 weeks, we have only received replies or acknowledgements from 11 of them.

While there is still time, please take the opportunity to oppose this very real threat to our wonderful Nature Reserve by lobbying the HDC councillors.

Keep Rookwood Green Alliance

The Friends continue to oppose the Rookwood proposal. Our position is clear in that we:

  • strongly oppose any development on the Northern Rookwood site
  • believe that the Northern Rookwood site should be maintained as a green space, preferably as an extension to the Nature Reserve, and a green corridor be retained along the Red River
  • are genuinely concerned that development of the Southern Rookwood site will have a considerable detrimental effect on the reserve

The Friends are also represented in the “Keep Rookwood Green Alliance” (KRGA)  which includes the Horsham Society  and Friends of Horsham Park. This Alliance pools local expertise and is rallying support for several options to keep all or part of Rookwood as green space. Please visit their website at

We would encourage you to support the Reserve by making your voice heard through any channels possible, including the following:


Local Plan proposal for building houses on Rookwood Golf Course


HDC have put forward a proposal to include Rookwood Golf Course as a site for housing development within the Draft Local Plan.

The Friends believe that such development would be a serious threat to the Reserve, which is immediately adjacent to Rookwood.

  • Rookwood Golf Course provides the main green corridor between the Reserve and the wider countryside, and without it the movement of wildlife is likely to be severely curtailed, leading to a reduction in biodiversity.
  • Increased light and noise pollution would disturb bats, birds, deer and many other Reserve residents.
  • Close proximity of domestic pets may well lead to increased predation of birds and small mammals
  • More building over green sites increases the risk of flooding and environmental pollution.

We strongly believe that Rookwood should be preserved as  a recreational green space for the benefit of the growing population of Horsham residents, and for the protection of our outstanding Nature Reserve.