Campaigners have expressed fears that plans to convert a landmark Horsham pub would lead to a ‘very serious accident’ if approved by inspectors.
Developers are looking to overturn a decision made earlier this year to reject the proposal to turn the Rising Sun pub, in Pondtail Road, into a children’s nursery.
Perfect Start Children’s Day Nursery and Pre-School submitted plans to convert the old building into day nursery hosting up to 80 children and 16 staff members.
The application was rejected by Horsham District Council following concerns over road safety and an increase in traffic in the area, despite being recommended for approval by officers.
More than 70 letters of objection and a petition signed by 155 people were submitted to the council as residents vigorously campaigned against the proposals.
Concerns were raised over an increase in traffic which campaigners claimed would lead to a greater chance of more accidents in the area as well as issues over an increase in parking and the narrow stretch of road leading up to the site from Old Millmeads road.
Council chairman Peter Burgess, Con, Holbrook West, echoed residents concerns.
He said: “I think, if allowed, there will be a very serious accident outside the pub site.”
Sheila Poynter was one of the many residents in the area who strongly campaigned against the proposal.
She said: “Lets hope people have not forgotten what we objected to in the first place. We are strongly against the change of use for the reasons it was refused in the first instance by Horsham District Council.
She added: “Six months have gone by and we still feel as strongly as we did before.” For more on the residents concerns see: Fears over conversion of historic Horsham pub