Developers back Horsham mum’s fight for disabled facility

JPCT 120814 S14330313x Pavilions in the Park, Horsham. New changing places toilet. Samantha Buck  - photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141208-130909001
JPCT 120814 S14330313x Pavilions in the Park, Horsham. New changing places toilet. Samantha Buck - photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141208-130909001

A mother who has spent four years fighting to bring a facility for disabled people to Horsham has seen her campaign move a step closer.

Samantha Buck, 44, has been lobbying for a Changing Places toilet to be created in the town centre.

CGI artists impression of Piries Place. Photo contributed by Reef Estates SUS-160911-163935001

CGI artists impression of Piries Place. Photo contributed by Reef Estates SUS-160911-163935001

Her ten-year-old son Alfie was born with severe brain damage and has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.

He uses a wheelchair and Samantha has been forced to change him on the floors of public toilets when visiting the town centre as there are currently few facilities with equipment needed to help him.

But developers behind a new multi-million pound scheme at Piries Place have announced they are in discussions with Horsham District Council to include a Changing Places toilet in their plans.

The facility helps people who are unable to use disabled or public toilets and includes a bench and hoist.

Samantha said: “The developers telephoned me and said ‘I just wanted to tell you that we are absolutely on board with this Changing Places facility’.

“It’s exciting but it’s not confirmed that it will go ahead. Now it’s down to planning accepting the plans.”

Reef Estates and Arcus PCD submitted proposals to create a new cinema along with restaurants, shops and a 92-bed hotel at the site.

A spokesman for the developers said: “We are in discussions with Horsham District Council about paying for this facility which may be included within the car park owned by Horsham District Council.”

Councillor Kate Rowbottom, cabinet member for community and wellbeing at the council, said: “We are delighted that the developers behind the redevelopment plans for Piries Place have agreed to include a Changing Places facility in the proposals.

“The council is committed to improving facilities for disabled people and in 2014, in the absence of any other town centre location, we invested funding to provide a new changing bench, hoist and shower into The Pavilions In the Park leisure centre, owned by Horsham District Council and operated by Places for People Leisure.

“Whilst there is now a disabled changing facility at Swan Walk this new Changing Places facility at Piries Place can only further enhance the facilities for disabled people and their carers who need accessible and specialist changing facilities when visiting the town centre.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.