Disappointment at delays to decision on Novartis redevelopment

The existing Art Deco building at the former Novartis site
The existing Art Deco building at the former Novartis site

The decision to delay plans to build 300 homes on the former Novartis site in Horsham has been called ‘extremely disappointing’ by West Sussex County Council.

Horsham District Council deferred the application for the proposed Horsham Enterprise Park, in Parsonage Road, on Wednesday after learning that an independent highways consultant had not ‘critically looked’ at road safety audits.

Road safety and traffic congestion have been major concerns since the plans were first announced – but the county insisted the proposals put forward were ‘acceptable’.

A spokesman said: “West Sussex County Council submitted the outline planning application for Horsham Enterprise Park in December 2018, so it is extremely disappointing that a decision on the application has been deferred yet again.

“The county council has worked closely with Horsham District Council planning officers and provided briefings for district councillors as the outline planning application has developed and gone through the planning process.

“In addition to this, Horsham District Council has already sought independent highways advice on the application which clearly shows that what is being proposed is acceptable in planning terms.

“We firmly believe that what is proposed is the best option for the town and the site.

“We have had several consultations and listened to the feedback and in doing so we have respected the important heritage of the site whilst providing the right balance of homes and business use to ensure the scheme is right for today and tomorrow and financially viable for the county council and, in turn, our taxpayers.”

The Enterprise Park will also include 25,000sqm of employment space which is expected to generate 1,500 jobs.

The application is scheduled to return to the council in one month.