Council leader hopes deputy ‘doesn’t come back as cat in second life’

Jonathan Chowen

Jonathan Chowen

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The sale of two homes at Warnham Nature Reserve have been agreed by Horsham District Council.

The Warnham Mill Cottages were acquired from the Lucas Family as part of the wider purchase of the mill pond and were used as temporary accommodation by the housing team, but were seen as too remote from the town centre.

The connected pair of two-bedroom homes are being offered for sale at an aggregate figure of £700,000 and HDC’s cabinet approved their disposal last Thursday (July 21).

Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulbrough and Coldwaltham), cabinet member for finance and assets, said the cottages were not meeting the council’s requirement to generate at least a six per cent annual return.

Meanwhile Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), HDC’s deputy leader and cabinet member for culture and leisure, said it was important for them to find money when they were investing in such large projects, for example the new Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.

He added: “Our estate is quite large and were are looking at areas which are no longer functioning as they had first hoped to function.”

Since the area is an important habitat for wildlife, especially birds, Mr Chowen said that animals and pets should be constrained and not allowed into the nature reserve.

He added: “I wish them luck with that. The great predator is not the dog but the cat, but they could attach a bell to the cat so the birdies can fly away.”

Ray Dawe (Con, Chantry), leader of the council, replied: “I hope if there is a second life you do not come back as a cat.”

The Cabinet also agreed to sell a piece of land for development off Horsham’s Holbrook School Lane originally intended for a new scout headquarters.

Mr Donnelly explained that plans for a Scout HQ had never materialised and the site was now ‘surplus to requirements’, while Mr Chowen said he could not make any promises, but they were looking at Southwater as a possible location of a new headquarters.

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