I am old enough to remember when Sainsbury’s car park was Tanbridge House lower school.
I have a vague recollection of Ms Doohan teaching something regarding socio-economic awareness relating to community habitability. I remember things like Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors and with a little Googling, which is what today’s kids would do, I bring it all flooding back.
All of which leads me to repeatedly ask why it is that shops, shopping, car parks and parking charges are constantly held up as the central issue which may make or break Horsham?
This is what happens when you pay attention in lessons. I find no good argument to support the idea that we can improve Horsham through big name retail alone. Though this is a beef replacement option that I have previously flogged in many an article.
What I want answered is; where is the after hours economy? Where should we expect to create commerce outside of shopping centres? Restaurants and cafes alone are only sufficient for a limited group who share disposable incomes and there is little thriving night life to speak off in Horsham.
All of which provides comfort to many of those more urbane district dwellers.
When I see reports of the additional income generated by providing conference and festival scenes in towns like Guildford or Eastbourne I have to ask why we are not making a play to this opportunity?
In terms of sectors which can support such propositions we have already laid the foundations in hotels and restaurants.
Access to the town centre from the station or the highways and from there to Gatwick is shockingly underplayed.
When you consider the experience of conference attendance in Brighton or Eastbourne our town feels like the better choice.
We clearly have the office space and architecture to provide the conference facilities and I cannot be the only one who admires our glass cathedral of insurance and think it could serve Horsham better as a reception to events.
I don’t expect we would have to expunge the current employees as there is no shortage of office space available as can be seen by the ‘office to let’ boards over Horsham high streets.
Consider Linden House (pictured) as a controversial option owned by I know not who but whose plans are much debated.
I may not have done all my homework on this but I see no reason not to ask.