Horsham FC fans’ anger over planning decision

Horsham Football Club's 2014 proposal for a new clubhouse and ground at Hop Oast. Artists' impression of the clubhouse - submitted by Horsham Football Club

Horsham Football Club's 2014 proposal for a new clubhouse and ground at Hop Oast. Artists' impression of the clubhouse - submitted by Horsham Football Club

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Fans and supporters of Horsham Football Club have to social media and the County Times website reacting to the news that plans for a new stadium had bee refused.

The club had hope to win Horsham District council’s support for a two new pitches, a club house and three stands for 557 spectators.

Horsham Football Club's 2014 proposal for a new clubhouse and ground at Hop Oast - artists's impression of the view from the balcony - picture submitted by Horsham Football Club SUS-150121-131807001

Horsham Football Club's 2014 proposal for a new clubhouse and ground at Hop Oast - artists's impression of the view from the balcony - picture submitted by Horsham Football Club SUS-150121-131807001

However the council’s development control committee vote to refuse the application 13 votes to nine. Three councillors were absent and there was one abstention.

Fans said it could be a fatal decision for the club, which has been in the town for more than 100 years.

On the County Times Facebook page Paul Ockenden wrote: “Councillors overturn the recommendations of a professional planning officer and sign the death warrant of the towns Historic Football Club.”

Garry Commins If it was for housing or for the destruction of a town landmark it would have sailed through, absolutely disgraceful treatment of a town treasure to appease a few rich Tories who live in Denne Park.

“Ultimately what actual green belt is it between Horsham and Southwater? A members only golf course, a park and ride white elephant, a garage and a council depot, hardly fantastic amenity land eh?

“And as for the tosh that the clubhouse will be used for functions, ain’t that the point! This council seems to be doing every single thing it can to totally alienate it from the stupid sheep that voted it in. Where will this madness from them ever stop?”

Haley Rolfe said: “Ok so they’ve turned down job opportunities, but said yes to way too many new houses! Logic?”

Kevin Sutherland wrote: “Disgraceful! Houses and money rule the council!”

Darren Richard Jestico wrote: “Councillors side with the powerful people from Denne House! Maybe done their careers good but have done our town massive harm! Embarrassed to be from Horsham tonight.”

ON the articles posted on the County Times website people were critical of the concerns councillors raised, which later formed their reasons for refusal.

Many highlighted the council’s Local Plans which details proposals to have 2,500 homes built north of Horsham.

Paul Leed said: “And lets not mention the hundreds and hundreds of houses between Horsham and Broadbridge Heath. Nor the extra traffic that housing development will bring along Worthing Road, plus additional traffic on top of the extra traffic for those who wish to visit the new John Lewis/Waitrose Superstore.

“Oh wait!....what are we going to do about the Boar’s Head junction? Gulp!....let’s also not mention anything about cyclists with all this extra traffic about and Hells bells!...whatever will the horses think! Who let off the fireworks? Strategic gap? This IS the 21st Century, there’s no such thing as strategic gaps!”

Horsham 1990 said: “Why is it not ok to build in the strategic gap between Southwater and Horsham but it is ok to build another 2500 houses and a business park etc in the strategic gap between Horsham and Crawley?”

On Twitter the reaction started the moment the decision was made, many tweets carrying the hashtag #Home4Horsham, which the club had set up beforehand.

Horsham FC the club tweeted: “The fight will never die. Thank you for your wonderful support. The club will win one day. #Home4Horsham”

Mike Wilson @HorshamSeagull said: “Shame on @HorshamDC councillors for refusing @HorshamFC planning permission for a new stadium, and for such ridiculous reasons #Home4Horsham”

Fan Sean Bravery looked forward to the next game saying; “Tonight’s news was devastating. Let’s show @HorshamDC what the town feels about @HorshamFC and everyone show up for tomorrows game.”

Horsham FC tweeted ahead of that game: “We have just arrived at Goring’s Mead. Not a nice atmosphere here. Many supporters are still very upset about last night. #Home4Horsham”

The team went onto win 2-1 against East Grinstead.