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From the West Sussex County Times of Friday, June 25, 1982.

HORSHAM District Council has delivered its verdict on the controversial plan for a new £1.6million arts centre in the ABC cinema - “think again”. By more than two to one the council voted to refer the scheme back to its recreation and environment committee for further consideration.

After the meeting a disappointed Mrs Evelyn Mauchel, chairman of the recreation committee, said: “We promised that we would leave the town without a theatre for as short a time as possible. Now this decision is going to cost us at least three months’ delay.

“But perhaps the referral back is not a bad thing. The figures involved in the scheme have changed as it has developed and now this will give us a chance to present the council with precise, up-to-date costings.”

Mrs Mauchel said she was clear about the brief given to her committee by the council in referring the scheme back. “They want us to give them precise figures for an arts centre and for just a straight forward replacement for the Capitol Theatre in the ABC. They also want us to look into the feasibility of other schemes on other sites.”

A STORM of protest over “inadequate” and “slipshod” grass cutting in West Sussex towns and villages by some county council contractors erupted at the meeting of the roads and transportation committee. Mr Granville Sharp said West Sussex faced a nightmarish situation in which grass was not being cut at all in some areas and in others was being cut extremely badly. County surveyor, Mr Keith Williams, admitted that he was “far from satisfied” with the grass cutting which had been done in some places. “I hope that the action we have taken will ensure that things will be done properly,” said Mr Williams. Previously the work was done by direct labour and cost more by this method. Because the money available was reduced last year, he looked at an alternative means of getting grass cut within the finance available. They were now trying to get seven cuts a year done more cheaply than the three that were carried out last year. Mr Bill Buck said some areas had not yet had their grass cut at all. “There are areas where it is in a most disgusting state,” he claimed.

A NEW 160-acre country park of woodland and lakes is now officially open to the public, just off the A264 Horsham-Crawley road.

An ideal setting for walking, fishing, picnicking and nature study, Buchan Country Park, managed by West Sussex County Council’s coast and countryside committee, seems a perfect place for relaxation.

A number of volunteer groups have been hard at work in shrub clearance in the park and improvements have been made to footpaths allowing access for the disabled.

Many familiar trees and shrubs can be found in the park, but there are also many uncommon plants growing round the ponds.