Ice rink and Christmas market plans near Horsham clear major hurdle

DM16133726a.jpg Hiliers Garden Centre / Camping World, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-160908-181902008
DM16133726a.jpg Hiliers Garden Centre / Camping World, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-160908-181902008
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Plans for an ice rink and Christmas market near Horsham this winter cleared a major hurdle this week.

The new attraction is set to run from late October until January and will be based behind Hillier Garden Centre, off Brighton Road, on Camping World’s showground.

Horsham Outdoor Event’s application for a premises licence for ‘Christmas Fantasia’, allowing it to sell alcohol as well as play live and recorded music, was approved by Horsham District Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Tuesday.

However several residents objected to the proposals on the grounds that it would lead to increased noise and light pollution for nearby residential properties.

Adam Proto, speaking for Horsham Outdoor Events, said: “Our aim is not for you to listen to Jingle Bells for three months in your front rooms.

“It’s not something we would impose on anybody.”

He explained that the only live music would be carol singing, alcohol would be limited to drinks such as mulled wine, hot cider, and craft beer, while he did not expect noise from the sound system to cause the nuisance that residents feared.

He explained that his company had run over successful ice rinks for the past eight years.

But Godfrey Newman (LDem, Forest) said: “They [residents] are going to be affected. It’s into the countryside, it’s open to the noise that will be happening at the time and I’m quite concerned about lighting and noise and the fact it’s for three months.”

Meanwhile Toni Bradnum (Con, Nuthurst) said she did not want to be branded a killjoy but argued that the proposals were a ‘dreadful imposition’ on residents.

Plans for the site also include several fairground rides and a Santa’s grotto, and the aim is to run it as an annual event.

Mike Peacock, who lives in Kerves Lane, said that plans would cause ‘unreasonable and substantial interference with the peaceful enjoyment of our homes’, while Gina Dixon, a Sedgwick Lane resident, added: “The peace in our homes will be shattered if this entertainment licence is approved.”

Residents also raised concerns around parking and the effect the current tannoy system has on residents.

The committee resolved to grant the premises licence after measuring it against the four licensing objectives.

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