DEBATE: Has the time come for Horsham’s Shelley Fountain to go?

Work on the Shelley Fountain Monday August 11 (JJP/Johnston Press).
Work on the Shelley Fountain Monday August 11 (JJP/Johnston Press).

Horsham’s Shelley Fountain could be scrapped as a straw poll at a council advisory group voted in favour of getting rid of the landmark.

At a Forest Neighbourhood Council meeting on Monday district councillor David Holmes (LDem, Horsham Park) gave members an update about discussions from a recent meeting of Horsham District Council’s private Bishopric Enhancement Board.

The future of ‘The Rising Universe’ water sculpture in the Bishopric, known in Horsham as the Shelley Fountain, has sparked fierce debate with many calling for it to be scrapped or replaced.

Dr Holmes said: “A straw poll of 24 [members was taken] given all the history would people like to see it go or stay?

“The consensus clearly, although it had a lot of merit, the time has come it should go.

“This discussion took place but nothing has been decided.”

The structure was fenced off on Monday August 11 and workers from drainage and plumbing company Dyno-Rod were seen inspecting it, but HDC declined to comment on what they were doing or at what cost.

The fountain’s water feature has not properly functioned since 2013.

A spokesperson for HDC said: “The council has commissioned Land Use Consultants – a leading firm of architects and urban designers, to advise on options for the future of this important part of Horsham town centre.

“Work is at a very early stage and the options that are developed will be the subject of a public consultation in the autumn.”

The Rising Universe was commissioned to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and was unveiled in 1996.

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