Plans for a new state-of-the-art multiplex cinema in Horsham town centre were given the green light last night (Tuesday December 6).
The owners of Swan Walk Shopping Centre are looking to redevelop the western end of the facility to include a six-screen cinema, restaurants, and a new retail unit.
Horsham District Council’s Development Control North Committee approved the scheme last night, subject to discussions about the new building’s design, particularly its elevation facing on to West Street.
During the committee both Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council and the Horsham Society raised concerns about the design, especially at the highest levels.
But Tony Hogben (Con, Denne) said: “I think it’s a major investment into the town centre. It’s something that has members’ support other than the aesthetics of it.”#
Philip Ayerst, speaking for the Horsham Society, called for improvements to the upper street elevations and landscape linked into the public realm of the town centre.
Meanwhile Trudie Mitchell, chair of Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council, felt the design did not compliment the image of Horsham as a market town, describing the upper levels where the cinema would be as a ‘grey metal featureless box’.
However Matthew French (Con, Broadbridge Heath) described the scheme as a ‘vast improvement’ over the current building and explained how in London modern architecture such as The Gherkin and The Shard sat well near older buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral.
Toni Bradnum (Con, Nuthurst) added: “Overall, it’s very dreary and I was hoping for something exciting and innovative.”
Meanwhile Roy Cornell (Con, Roffey South) described West Street as ‘lovely’ and felt the council had to maintain its character.
Peter Burgess (Con, Holbrook West) made a plea for Wilko to be found a new home in the town, while Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar) made a similar appeal for Trend, which is based in Springfield Road.
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