LETTER: Reinstatement of town premises

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Your headline last week ‘Estate agent wins appeal to keep part of red shop front’ only told part of the story of this long running saga.

Back in Autum 2011 Mansell McTaggart repainted the front of its premises in Carfax in its corporate colour, a deep maroon, without first seeking the necessary approval from the council.

It is part of a larger 15th century Grade 2 listed building within the conservation area.

The change of colour of the first floor destroyed the visual integrity of the building and jarred uncomfortably with the muted colours of neighbouring buildings in Carfax.

The Horsham Society complained to the council but it refused to take any action until a formal complaint forced its hand. So it wasn’t until a year later in October 2012 that councillors finally had the opportunity to consider it and unanimously agreed to refuse consent.

Mansell McTaggart failed to restore the original cream colour and it took a further eight months before HDC issued an enforcement notice; then Mansell McTaggart appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

This month – two and a half years since Mansell MacTaggart made the unauthorised change - a Planning Inspector instructed the company to reinstate the cream colour to the first floor façade and gave it two months to comply.

The Inpector did indeed agree that the shopfront below first floor level could remain maroon, but the Society had not objected to this.

We hope Mansell McTaggart will complete the reinstatement works without delay.

JOHN STEELE

The Horsham Society, Old Denne Gardens, Horsham