A new group has been launched to help protect Horsham Park from development following plans to site an ice rink there.
Proposals have been put forward to erect a marquee to house the ice rink together with a cafe and reception area on land which currently houses the park’s volley-ball pitch.
The company behind the proposals - Horsham Outdoor Events - wants to stage the ice rink from October to January and is due to put its plans formally before Horsham District Council next week.
Meanwhile, campaigners have formed a new action group - New Friends of Horsham Park - in a bid to halt the proposals. Group chairman Sally Sanderson said: “There is strong feeling in Horsham about the park. It is highly valued, an irreplaceable resource and what makes Horsham such an attractive place to live.”
And, she said, it was not just people living near the park who were opposed to development there. She said that 98 per cent of people who answered a Horsham Blueprint Neighbourhood survey said they wanted their parks and green spaces protected.
She added: “The group is not against all change in the park. We acknowledge that in the last 20 years there have been plenty of good initiatives which cater for a wide range of interests such as The Pavilions, the Nature Garden, the children’s play area and the skate park. However, these have all taken precious green space.
“The green space which remains is now at a premium for picnics, kicking footballs, walking and jogging, especially as Horsham grows and gardens get smaller.
“The group wants to ensure that this remaining green and open space is enhanced and accessible to all – for today and for tomorrow.”
She said the new group’ wanted to get the park included on Horsham District Council’s Local List of Heritage Assets and to have a say on the Park Management Plan to secure it for future generations to enjoy.