Wetland plans are now nearly home and dry

PLANS to turn Warnham Pond into a wetland area came one step closer last week.

Following consultation with the public last year, Horsham District Council agreed on Wednesday last week to spend £1m on improving Warnham Nature Reserve.

The project will ensure the council meets its legal obligations in managing the pond under new legislation due to come into force.

The total cost of the improvements will be £2.15m, which will be shared with the Environment Agency.

Cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure, Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold Shermanbury and West Grinstead) is passionate about the plans.

He said: “This shows what public consultation can do if it’s done properly.

“It will increase biodiversity and we’ll look at linking up with Riverside Walk. It would be really nice if we could take it through the park.

“If we are going to spend £2m between us all then we should do it properly.”

The work will involve reducing the embankment level, removing the sluice gate and filling in the reservoir bed.

A channel for the Boldings Brook will be excavated and small pond and wetland will be created in a new floodplain system.

Members agreed for the council to spend £500,000 in 2012-13 and a further £500,000 in the following financial year.