Horsham town centre wine bar plan provokes mixed reaction

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PLANS for a new wine bar in Horsham’s Market Square have received mixed reaction from local businesses.

A planning application - for a new tea room and wine bar close to the Old Town Hall – have met opposition from several local residents and from the neighbourhood council.

Developers hope to turn the former premises of Lady Fayre, the women’s clothing store, into a shop and tea room.

Offices next door, previously occupied by undertakers Freeman Brothers, would become a wine bar under the proposals which have been put forward.

The plan has now been supported by local restaurateurs, a furniture store, and an insurance company.

“We fully support this planning application,” said a message from East Street insurance firm Slade Edwards and Co to Horsham District Council planning officers.

“The facilities are very much needed in Horsham town centre.

“It will improve the performance of Market Square, attracting the business community and the public to this area.”

Steven Martin told the planning department: “I would like to offer my full support for this application.

“It is essential that in the current economic climate that Horsham is not left with further empty premises within the town centre, which seem to be on the increase in the past 12 months.

“I welcome the proposals to rejuvenate this area.

“The night time economy is an essential part of any thriving town, and this scheme will complement the existing traders in East Street and Market Square.”

Chris Holt, of La Source, commented: “We have a retail business in East Street and feel that this development will greatly benefit the general footfall of the area and provide yet more reason for visitors to experience this part of the town centre.”

Previous comment had raised concerns about loss of privacy and smoke, particularly from a patio which developers hope to build behind the wine bar.

What do you think? Send us your thoughts to ct.letters@sussexnewspapers.co.uk or call 01403 751256.