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 Current issues

April 2011 

Chesworth Farm

For some people the Park is the jewel in Horsham's crown - but many towns this size have parks.  How many are blessed with open countryside less than five minutes' walk from the town centre?  Chesworth Farm is one of our most precious amenities, yet over the years it has been threatened by developments ranging from football pitches to housing.

Chesworth has been owned by Horsham District Council since 1991 and fulfils many roles: as well as being a low-key nature reserve it is used by walkers, dog walkers, riders, cyclists and anyone who appreciates a piece of countryside so close to town.  A local farmer's cattle graze on the fields in summer, and this year they have been joined by sheep and llamas.  Chesworth is also home to a Parks Department depot and the workshops of an artists' group.  It is criss-crossed with footpaths & bridleways, and Peddlers Way (Horsham-Southwater cycle route) runs through it.

Muggeridges Field, just south of Athelstan Way, is the property of West Sussex County Council, but is managed by HDC and is effectively part of Chesworth.  Now WSCC have put in an outline planning application for housing on the field.  We have made a formal objection to this, which can be read here, and you should also read chairman David Moore's WSCT article, which explains the background and the implications of threatened development.

We have to ensure that Chesworth Farm doesn't become a prime building site at some future time, and to help achieve this we have been working with Forest Neighbourhood Council and Horsham District Council with a view to setting up a Friends of Chesworth organisation.  A preliminary meeting on 11 April was a resounding success, with over a hundred applications to join and enough volunteers for a strong committee.  If you're interested in becoming a member, David Moore will be pleased to hear from you.

Restoration of Chesworth Barn
Jenny Barelegs Field

Walk: Denne Hill & Chesworth Farm