The face of the Bishopric could have changed forever if the council had approved an application for flats last week - according to a shop owner.
Horsham District Council’s development control north committee emphatically rejected redevelopment for flats behind the shops on the north side of the town centre street.
Representatives from Panda House, Tandoori Wines, Eastern Tandoori, and Steben Hair Studio, led by Peter Scrogss, owner of Mr Chips fish and chip restaurant, opposed plans because it would have meant knocking down existing garages they use for storage of goods.
Mr Scroggs said: “If this application is approved the receivers will obviously sell the site to a developer and we the tenants would have no say in the phasing of the development and could lose the use of the garages.
“If this happened all four businesses would cease trading with the loss of 15 full-time, and 14 part-time local jobs.”
The scheme was for the removal of five garages and replacement with new garages and five three-storey flats.
Christine Costin (LDem, Trafalgar) said: “I just still think this is overdevelopment on a very small plot.”
After the meeting traders said that the decision meant a reprieve for their businesses, but there was still uncertainty as to the future of their leases, held by Warner Estate Holdings.
According to Mr Scroggs, the company went into administration in August, with Royal Bank of Scotland appointed to dispose of their 43 premises.
Frances Haigh (LDem, Horsham Park), described plans as a ‘pig in a poke’, while Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar) questioned whether it was RBS or the liquidators who were putting in the application.
Meanwhile a Springfield Crescent couple complained that the flats would tower over their house.