Southwater residents packed out a parish council meeting to question Horsham District Council’s involvement with Horsham Football’s club’s plans for a new ground at Hop Oast.
Last month Horsham FC unveiled the site for a new ground near Horsham Golf and Fitness Club, but at the time Southwater Parish Council (SPC) expressed its anger at not being informed before a public announcement was made.
Around 40 people attended the SPC meeting last night (Wednesday July 31) to hear HDC’s involvement in brokering a deal for the land at Hop Oast.
Tom Crowley, chief executive of HDC, explained that it was Horsham FC’s plans not HDC’s plans, and that no planning applications for land at the Holbrook Club, nor the Hop Oast site had yet been submitted.
He told the audience that HDC had given informal pre-application planning advice, and helped broker a deal on an option for the land.
The council holds that option and would transfer it to the football club if a planning application were successful.
Mr Crowley said: “There was an expressed view from a lot of our councillors in 2008 that we should work with the football club as they try to find an alternative ground.”
Councillors also heard an update on the new draft housing plan that was approved for consultation on Thursday by HDC, which included around 500 houses for Southwater.
Meanwhile Peter Buckley was elected unopposed to the position of chairman after Tony Bull’s resignation last month.