High Ropes Course totally unsuitable

Regarding Horsham’s Pavilions in the Park and the erection of a high ropes course and associated works.

The members of Denne Neighbourhood Council are not kill-joys: we want all people, young and old, with a variety of interests to enjoy Horsham Park. In principle we are also keen to encourage well-organised adventurous activities in Horsham.

We are very proud of Horsham Park, which is within the Denne area and we took over the consultative role with Horsham District Council, following on from the Friends of Horsham Park.

Our Memorandum of Understanding with Horsham District Council should have ensured we were consulted on all major, emerging policies with regard to Horsham Park.

Although the planning application for the High Ropes Course has been submitted by DC Leisure, it is impossible to believe that Horsham District Council was unaware of the plan in advance.

However we were not consulted or involved in any initial discussions.

Our opinion is that the High Ropes Course and Zip Wire are totally unsuitable for the proposed location. The design is far too large for the space available and it extends over the Pavilions’ boundary across a considerable expanse of the park.

We have seen some positive reactions to the proposals on Horsham Facebook, but question if those people have looked carefully at the plans. It is only by going to the Horsham District Council planning search website and looking at the associated documents that you can realise the enormous size of the proposed construction and how it will dominate the view.

The High Rope Courses will be taller than the Pavilion building and will cross over the perimeter path into the grounds of the park, with a complete section straddling the path.

The Zip Wire goes across the park ending in an open-sided, high landing stage close to themain north / south path.

It is likely that people who currently use the area for relaxation, play or picnics will have to go elsewhere to avoid bodies flying overhead and unwelcome noise. We also have a genuine concern about health and safety issues regarding this construction, in particular when not under supervision and in darkness.

We have pointed out to Horsham District Council that Crawley has already approved a similar scheme for Tilgate Park, where there is suitable space available.

We doubt there is sufficient demand for two schemes in such close proximity. The proposed capacity in Horsham Park is for 50 users an hour, with the course open from 10am to 10pm.

However there is no indication of how much people will have to pay, which may affect its use. There are other unresolved problems such as changing the rural nature of this area, insufficient car parking available, the removal of trees and lack of information on the viability of the scheme.

The full response from Denne Neighbourhood Council can be seen on the council website or on our website www.denneneighbourhoodcouncil.org

TRUDIE MITCHELL

Chair, Denne Neighbourhood Council, Rusper Road, Horsham