LETTER: Come clean over future of Piries

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Not that long ago, Piries Place was an attractive enclave in the centre of Horsham.

Dominated by a medium sized Waitrose, it had a certain charm - one of the council’s better developments.

And the quality food store was valued by those who did not wish to venture into yet another huge, impersonal supermarket.

Apart from that, it was easily accessible - especially to shop and office workers requiring a lunchtime snack. And the businesses surrounding the store were individual shops selling quality goods - reminiscent of the days when shoppers appreciated the personal touch.

Since the departure of Waitrose for pastures new, Piries Place is fast becoming a sorry sight - as if some dreadful plague has descended upon it - the boarded up empty shops bear witness to this steady decline - which is nothing less less than shameful.

It would appear that existing shop leases are not being renewed - leaving the owners in a state of limbo - uncertain as to their their future. Naturally, in the absence of any firm news. rumours abound.

All this uncertainty raises the question as to who is responsible for Piries Place. Is the ground landlord Horsham District Council or is perhaps the pension fund of one of our leading airways who have plans for their own massive re-development of the site?

The concept of open local government has not exactly been the hallmark of recent Conservative administrations but when an attractive part of our town is threatened, I suggest that our local authority has a bounden duty to keep the public informed - in particular the shop-keepers who remain in Piries Place.

Of course, this also applies to the owners of the entire site. Failure to come clean will only encourage yet more rumours - from which none of the interested parties will emerge smelling of roses!

Robert B. Worley

Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham

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