Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Wallis Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Direct Line: 01403 215465
To receive the notes of the meeting held on 18 September 2019
The notes of the previous meeting held on 18 September were received by the Group.
Wilder Horsham District
The Council is working in partnership with the Sussex Wildlife Trust on the Wilder Horsham District project, which sets out to: help wildlife thrive across the district; create networks of protected land for the benefit of habitats and species; and increase awareness of actions that communities can take.
The Cabinet Member advised the Group that working in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT) would bring expertise and practical support to the Wilder Horsham District initiative. He welcomed Dr Tony Whitbread, President of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, to the meeting.
The Project Developer gave an overview of the proposed partnership, which was a five-year programme of measures to reverse decline and enhance wildlife. The creation of networks of protected land that allow habitats for species to expand was a key element of the proposal.
Implementation would be embedded in all Council services, in particular Planning, and include training for officers. Two SWT posts would be created to identify and deliver a nature recovery network and enhance existing landscapes. There would also be support for parish councils and community groups to help them improve their local natural environment.
The Group discussed aspects of the partnership and Tony Whitbread and officers answered a number of questions. Points raised included:
· SWT’s Biodiversity Record Centre would be an invaluable resource
· The scheme would be closely monitored
· There were economic benefits to enhancing the landscape
· The Council’s Local Plan review would include a 10% net biodiversity gain requirement from developers
· SWT would offer support to landowners, many of whom they already worked with
· The proposal included a tree replacement programme
· Horsham town and other settlements would benefit from the proposals.
The Cabinet Member said that this was a ground-breaking initiative, which could have a profoundly positive impact. The Group were in full support of the Wilder Horsham District partnership proposals.
To note the Forward Plan extract for the Leisure and Culture Portfolio
The Forward Plan extract was noted.