30 years ago

Plans to spend around £300,000 on the first phase of a major school expansion for South-water have been revealed.

Richard Bunker, West Sussex County Council’s deputy education chief, said the council planned to expand the existing Southwater County Primary School and then build a completely new infants school nearby.

The idea is to increase the number of permanent places at the county primary school from 230 to 360, replacing 150 temporary places in prefabricated classrooms.

The expansion work, due to start next January and be completed by July 1985, was ‘the first phase in a rather larger development which will ultimately be completed by 1986/87’, he said “By then there is a plan to build a new 270 place infant school and the county council is now nego-tiating for a site not far from the present school.” He could not say exactly which piece of land they had in mind or how much the sec-ond school development might cost.

At present the county primary school serves the five to 11 age group, but the plan is for the new infant school to take the under-sevens and to turn the existing school into a junior school for seven to 11 year olds.

The design team appointed by Horsham District Council for the conversion of the ABC cinema in North Street into an arts centre has gone for ‘flexibility to meet the widest range of needs’.

Consultant architects, the Renton Howard Wood Levin partnership say that the need for flexibility ‘leads inevitably to providing as great a variety of different sized spaces as possible’.

The theatre, seating 450 people on three levels – stalls, balcony and gallery – is in itself planned to be multi-purpose.

Retractable tiered seating in the stalls, mounted on a flat floor, could be stowed away to provide an open arena within the auditorium suitable for boxing, dancing or other functions.

The centre, which would be named The New Capitol Theatre, would have a small cinema for 120 people and totally separate from the main theatre.

One of the centre’s most important areas would be its large main foyer at first floor level.

This, the design team says, should be used for exhi-bitions, wedding functions, recitals and concerts as well as to provide a theatre foyer adjoining bar and refreshment facilities.

Hopes of saving the old railway warehouse in Steyning have risen following an on-site meeting.

“The outcome was optimistic. They basically think it’s a good idea,” said Gordon Lawrie, warehouse campaigner, referring to district and council planners.

Steyning’s Warehouse Group has been battling since early in February to save this now ‘sadly rare’ example of railway architecture from demolition.

The planners, said Mr Lawrie, seemed impressed with the warehouse which they had not seen before.

Two courses of action are possible – the warehouse could be converted into a community hall or into a crafts centre.

“The crunch comes when it’s a case of who pays,” said Mr Lawrie.

“But we have proved that we are a reliable bunch of people and that this is a viable concern.

The county has said it cannot guarantee any money for this project but indi-cated that it might be prepared to put some in.”