Revealed: New cinema plans for former Waitrose site

Horsham - Piries Place. 29-02-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1607104 SUS-160229-150724001
Horsham - Piries Place. 29-02-16. Pic Steve Robards SR1607104 SUS-160229-150724001

A major multi-million-pound re-development scheme - including a new cinema - is being planned for Piries Place in Horsham.

The proposals include new shops and restaurants - along with a high-end ‘Everyman’ boutique-style cinema on the site of the former Waitrose store.

The plans are being put forward as a joint venture by property development and investment company Reef Estates and construction and property consultants Arcus.

Reef Estates development director Will Rohleder said: “We are looking at a major restoration of Piries Place to add to that part of the town centre, working on what is currently going on in East Street.

“Piries Place is relatively tired and we are trying to bring it back to life. That’s the plan.

“We’re adding to that part of the town. It’s totally different to what Swan Walk are looking to do.”

Proposals for the redevelopment of Swan Walk were announced earlier this year. They include the demolition of part of the shopping mall to make way for four new restaurants, a new retail unit and a five-screen multiplex cinema.

But Mr Rohleder said the Everyman cinema proposed for Piries Place was completely different being a boutique-style cinema with its own restaurant.

“It will be fantastic for the town,” he said.

He explained it was not a case of knocking down what was currently in Piries Place, but was instead a major restoration of the area, which would include new seating and landscaping.

The former Waitrose store site in Piries Place has remained empty for more than a year since the supermarket re-located to its John Lewis site in Albion Way.

Other shops in Piries Place are also currently empty. Some - including La Vida Boutique and Gobsmack Comics - have located to premises in Swan Walk.

The developers say that they will outline their Piries Place proposals in full early next month and will be inviting public consultation on the scheme.