Decision due on ice rink planned for Horsham Park

Residents protesting about plans to concrete over the volley pitch at Horsham Park. Pic Steve Robards SR1716809 SUS-170718-140053001
Residents protesting about plans to concrete over the volley pitch at Horsham Park. Pic Steve Robards SR1716809 SUS-170718-140053001

Plans for a temporary ice skating rink in Horsham Park could be approved by councillors next week.

Previous proposals by Horsham District Council to convert the sand volleyball court into a ‘hardstanding’ events area were postponed after public outcry.

But a planning application was then submitted to the council by Horsham Outdoor Events, the company which ran a festive ice rink at the Camping World site in Brighton Road last year.

This application, for a marquee to house an ice rink, cafe, and reception between late October and January, is set to be discussed by HDC’s Planning Committee North on Tuesday (September 5).

Officers have recommended approval, subject to conditions.

A total of 156 letters of objection have been received, compared to four in support.

Opponents of the scheme have described it as overdevelopment of the park and raised concerns over a loss of amenity space, extra traffic, increased noise pollution, and a potential rise in anti-social behaviour.

Last month, Sally Sanderson, who spearheaded opposition to original proposals for a hardstanding events area, said: “An ice rink for the town to enjoy is a good idea.

“However, the park is the wrong site.”

She said it was not near enough to the town centre and too near to busy roads with inadequate parking. She said she feared it would mean the loss of part of the park to permanent commercial ventures.

Officers concluded: “The proposed temporary ice rink event would not result in any permanent impact on the character and setting of Horsham Park, in which the development would not be of any detriment to highway safety, visual amenity or neighbouring amenity.”

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