In mid-September, Horsham council received a position statement regarding Water Neutrality from Natural England, as explained here. As stated on that page 'The Position Statement is a new material consideration and the consequence of this is that Horsham District Council is unable to determine current planning applications positively unless it can be demonstrated they are ‘water neutral’ and/or that they do not result in a significant effect.'
In addition, this position statement could have a far reaching impact on the, currently in revision, Horsham District Local Plan (AKA 'another spanner in the works', following the earlier changes to the National Planning Policy Framework) leading to more delays, possibly of the order of months.
And the snail? As one of the rarest, most restricted and most vulnerable freshwater molluscs in Britain, it is highly endangered and only found on 3 sites in the UK - one of which is Pullborough Brooks, part of the Arun catchment. Most of the drinking water for Horsham District, Crawley and parts of Chichester comes from a borehole at Hardham, south of Pulborough, and Natural England believe that excessive abstraction is harming the natural world, endangering various flora and fauna in the Arun valley, which is variously designated a SPA, SAC, Ramsar site and SSSI. It seems this snail is rather fussy, and thus a good indicator of potential environmental problems. Long may it live in Sussex!