TWIGGY has been dragged into a row about plans for the site of her former Sussex home.

Dame Lesley Lawson, or Twiggy, sold her home in Barnham, West Sussex, in 2020 and the plans for what is to be done with the site have sparked controversy.

Her former neighbours claim the sale has led to the spoiling of their rural idyll and will affect local wildlife.

The model, who is a patron of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, sold her home before moving to a nearby village and a new 200-house development has now been given the go-ahead.

It meant the bottom half of the house’s large garden is to be turned into an access road for the new estate.

Former neighbour Graham Fields, 65, an electronic engineer, told the Mail Online that Twiggy and her husband Allan Leigh Lawson decided to sell after another neighbour, Paul Voller, made plans with developers to build houses on fields behind the home.

The fields are cut off from existing roads, so the model’s 1.2 acres became crucial for access.

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

The firm working with Mr Voller applied to build the houses with access via what was the paddock at the bottom of Twiggy’s garden.

Arun District Council reportedly rejected the plans as inappropriate.

But a planning inspector last week ruled in an appeal that the £100million scheme can go ahead, spoiling views of the South Downs.

Mr Fields said: "There’s going to be a thousand car journeys a day through her former garden. I release rescue hedgehogs into my garden every year, after a charity assessed the area as suitable there will be less area for them to forage."

After buying the property Mr Voller kept the parcel of land at the back while the house and smaller garden were bought by someone else for £705,000 in 2020.

Mr Lawson, 78, an actor and director, told the Daily Mail last week: "What somebody does with the property afterwards is nothing to do with me.

"We sold the house because we started getting grandchildren and needed a bigger one.

"I didn’t expect to have to qualify why. We sold the house and garden as one."

The couple bought the five-bed house in historical village for £790,000 in 2017 and they used it as their second home while based in their west London flat.

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