Rookwood not being considered for development with commitment to golf provision and protecting the environment

Horsham District Council can confirm that it is not considering Rookwood Golf Club for development.

In early 2021, the Council gained valuable feedback from a public consultation regarding Rookwood, and having listened to the views expressed, it was decided that the proposals in place at that time did not reflect the needs of the community.

The Golf Club site is no longer included for consideration in the Local Plan and is withdrawn from this process.

A commitment was made by the Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Tony Hogben in July 2021 to conduct another public consultation. This consultation will still happen but it will be held in 2023, as there is plenty of time because the golf site lease is not due to be renewed until 2026.

Commenting on the situation Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture Cllr Roger Noel said:

We all recognise the importance and value of the Rookwood and Warnham Local Nature Reserve sites.

The current administration has committed to putting climate change, at the heart of its agenda and these sites are exemplary examples of how to enhance biodiversity for the benefit of the environment.

We are still emerging from the effects of the pandemic which have demonstrated the importance of public open space on the wellbeing of users. There has also been an increase in participation in activities such as golf. We now need to conduct further work to fully assess the need for golf at this site, which a further consultation will help us to do.

I am also open to more informal discussions and feedback about plans for the golf course and the Reserve.

We are fully committed to protecting the environments there, with sustainability, biodiversity and the protection of native plants and wildlife at the centre of our thinking and plans.

Enhancing green spaces and ongoing listening to residents, community groups and local businesses remain vital to us to establish how we can best use Council-owned land at Rookwood.