Twiggy is embroiled in a local dispute after selling land in the historic village of West Sussex

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Twiggy, 72, is embroiled in local strife after land sales in the historic village of West Sussex pave the way for the development of 200 houses “that will ruin the rural idyll and affect wildlife”

  • Twiggy was in dispute over the sale of her house in the historic village
  • Her former neighbors in Barnham claim the sale has spoiled the idyll
  • The model, sponsored by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, sold the house in 2020
  • New construction with 200 houses on “intact agricultural land” was approved










She was the face of the 1960s and has long defended the countryside.

But now Twiggy has been drawn into a local dispute over the sale of her house in the historic village.

Her former neighbors in Barnham, West Sussex, claim the sale has spoiled their rural idyll and will affect local wildlife.

The model, who sponsors the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, sold her house in 2020. The sale was followed by a series of events, with a new development now approved with 200 houses on the “pristine farm”.

This meant turning the lower half of the large house garden into an access road for the new estate. But the 72-year-old, also known as Dame Lesley Lawson, has moved out of the neighborhood.

She was the face of the 1960s and has long defended the countryside. But now Twiggy has been drawn into a local dispute over the sale of her house in the historic village

The model, who sponsors the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, sold her house in 2020. The sale was followed by a sequence of events, with a new development now approved with 200 houses on

The model, who sponsors the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, sold her house in 2020. The sale was followed by a series of events, with a new development now approved with 200 houses on the “pristine farm”.

Former neighbor Graham Fields, 65, an electronic engineer, said Twiggy and her husband Allan Leigh Lawson decided to sell after another neighbor, air traffic controller Paul Voller, and developers planned to build houses in the fields behind the home.

But the fields are cut off from existing roads, so 1.2 acres of the model has become crucial for access.

Mr Fields said: “When we heard that Twiggy and her husband were selling their house, the next thing we heard was that they had sold their land to Mr Voller.”

The company, which worked with Mr. Voller, applied to build houses with access through a fence at the bottom of Twiggy’s garden. Arundel County Council rejected the plans as inadequate.

But the planning inspector ruled last week in a complaint that the £ 100m scheme could continue and spoil the view of the South Downs. After buying the property, Mr Voller kept the plot behind, while the house and smaller garden were bought by someone else in 2020 for £ 705,000.

It is understood that at some stage Twiggy and Mr Lawson demanded more than a million pounds for the whole plot. They now live in a nearby village.

Lawson, 78, actor and director, told the Daily Mail last night that they don’t have to excuse the sale, saying, “What someone does with the property later has nothing to do with me.”

Sold: Five bedroom house in Barnham, West Sussex

Sold: Five bedroom house in Barnham, West Sussex

Row: Land at the back of the garden to be developed

Row: Land at the back of the garden to be developed

He added: “We sold the house because we started getting grandchildren and we needed a bigger one. I didn’t expect to have to qualify why. We sold the house and the garden as one. ‘

The couple, valued at up to £ 50 million, bought a five-bed house in Barnham near Arundel in 2017 for £ 790,000.

They used it as their second home while living in an apartment in West London worth £ 3 million.

But some residents are concerned about the impact of the sale on wildlife. Mr Fields said: ‘There will be thousands of car rides a day in her former garden. Every year I drop rescue hedgehogs into my garden after the charity has judged the area to be suitable … there will be less space to feed them. ‘

Sydney Head of Clinical Services Kalinski, 44, said: “This means concreting one of the best nature conservation areas in our village.”

Barnham with about 1,400 inhabitants is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has a church dating back to before that.

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