30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, December 18, 1981.

FEARS that Horsham might be left with another white elephant office block in the town centre were expressed this week.

Members of the district council gave the go-ahead for development of land adjoining the closed Mecca bingo hall.

More than 84,500 sq feet of office space will be allowed with the building of a new block. One of the planning conditions is that the building should be used for the first five years only by firms or companies in West Sussex or South East Surrey.

It was this which worried one member of the council’s area one plans sub-committee, Mr Roland Albrecht said: “I can’t think of one firm in the area who will want the space.”

He thought there was a lot of merit in offering the offices further afield, to London for instance.

His suggestion met approval and the committee agreed that, if necessary, the area would be widened.

Earlier in the debate, it was car parking which had worried several members of the committee.

Mrs Avocet Phelps wondered whether there had been any careful study of car parking needs for the new block and Major Richard Maydwell commented: “I’ve learned through the press that Marks and Spencer are coming to Horsham. We will need every space we’ve got.”

JUBILANT people in Capel are cheering the progress of their £2.5 million bypass which could be in use by the end of January.

After a long, hard battle, villagers were finally given permission for their bypass and work began in March this year.

If there are no major hitches or snow storms to deter work, the building of the longed for Capel bypass may well be completed next month, which is way ahead of schedule.

One of the former Capel Bypass Action Group, Mr Tony Butler, had only praise for the construction work.

“You bet I am pleased,” said Mr Butler. “And the delightful thing is that they are well ahead of programme. Usually with major engineering works there is muck and interference but as far as I know, no-one has been badly inconvenienced and no-one has complained.

“I have not heard anyone moaning. In fact, people keep walking it, cycling and crawling it just to make sure it is really there!” he laughed.

HER GRACE, Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk will lay the foundation stone for the new Horsham United Reformed Church on January 3.

The occasion is a landmark in the life of the church, since this is the third church to be built on the Springfield Road site.

The previous church was demolished recently to make way for a development which will include a new block of offices.

The Duchess will arrive at Tanbridge House Lower School – the premises currently being used while the new church is under construction.

After the service, the Duchess will travel to the site of the new church.

The laying of the foundation stone services takes place just before midday.