New plans for Horsham Novartis unveiled

Novartis site
Novartis site

Plans have been unveiled showcasing what the future could hold for Horsham’s former Novartis site.

Land off Parsonage Road has been empty for the past few years after the pharmaceutical giant left the town in 2014.

West Sussex County Council bought the site for £16m two years later and originally set out to create world-leading science park.

However, a new masterplan was revealed to the public at a special consultation at the Holbrook Club in North Heath Lane yesterday evening (September 26).

The proposals focus on three key areas - a place to work, a place to live and a place to meet.

The site will be split into three areas with two thirds planned for business space and a third for housing.

A residential area will be located in the north-west corner, a mixed-use area of shops and accommodation will be housed in the centre, while an employment and enterprise zone will be created in the south-east close to Parsonage Road.

The council says the primary objective of the site will be to deliver ‘innovative and sustainable employment and business opportunities’ in a new area called the Horsham Enterprise Park.

The park will contain around 25,000 square metres of ‘employment space’ - the size of nearly three-and-a-half full size football pitches - which could host new grade A offices along with research and development spaces and innovation centres for start-ups, freelancers, and future entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, 300 homes are proposed to be built south of Wimblehurst Road.

The properties are set to be a mixture of two to three storey houses and small apartment blocks with 35 per cent set to be affordable.

Two buildings in the centre of the site - including the Art Deco building - are also set to be retained and turned into high quality apartments.

Within the ground floor of one of the buildings it is proposed a community hub is created to provide a meeting point for residents and businesses at the site.

The hub is set to contain commercial units, retail units and a cafe.

The proposals state: “This café will provide a meeting point for people living or working on the site, as well as being used by the wider community.”

The plans also contain ideas for a creche or nursery for young children.

Access to the site will be through two entrances on Parsonage Road and Wimblehurst Road. ‘Through Access’ will also be created for emergency vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

Public green spaces are also being proposed including play provision whilst the current row of cedar trees on the site will also be retained.

Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the current proposals in time for a second public consultation to be held at the end of October.

The exhibition will be hosted by the county council at the Holbrook Club between 12pm and 8pm on Tuesday October 30 before a planning application is submitted towards the end of the year.

To comment on the plans visit https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/former-novartis-site/horsham/