Conservation area could be shrinking, SPAG meeting told

The conservation area around Billingshurst could shrink under new plans that will go to public consultation in autumn 2012.

First designated in 1974, the area is being reviewed as one of the 37 conservation areas in the district, 11 of which are in the new South Downs National Park, outside of Horsham District Council control.

Ian Howard (Con, Southwater), chairman of the Strategic Planning Advisory Group and cabinet member for living and working communities, said: “There will be a considerable saving on tree preservation orders and listed building applications from English Heritage.”

Meanwhile councillors were given an update of the Billingshurst retail study, with both Kate Rowbottom and Gordon Lindsay (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) praising the work that consultants had done.

Under proposed plans £700,000 could be spent revamping the village’s core, by attracting a boutique, restaurant or hotel, an anchor retail store, while also looking at parking.

Officers also gave a verbal update of public comments on the draft of the Horsham Town Plan.

Ideas submitted to the council include an underground walkway between RSA and the Y Centre; a car park underneath Horsham Park; a cable car running from the railway station; a weather-proof canopy over East and West Streets; and trees and landscaping in place of the Shelley Fountain.

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